Saturday, March 07, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-18-150, N5408Y; accident occurred September 23, 2019 in Skwentna, Alaska

View of right wing lift strut damage. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Anchorage, Alaska 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Skwentna, AK
Accident Number: GAA19CA564
Date & Time: 09/23/2019, 0900 AKD
Registration: N5408Y
Aircraft: Piper PA18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, he made an off-airport takeoff from a surface covered with standing water. The water created excess drag on the main landing gear, the tail rose and the airplane nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing lift strut.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot added as a safety recommendation to add more weight in the tail, avoid taking off in water, and to abort the takeoff attempt when first signs of trouble arise.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 50, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Center
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/17/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/26/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 725 hours (Total, all aircraft), 214 hours (Total, this make and model), 725 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 60 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N5408Y
Model/Series: PA18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-8171
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/01/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360
Registered Owner: Northland Hangars Llc
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Northland Hangars Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PANC, 120 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 58 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1653 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 128°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 300 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 350°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.41 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Skwentna, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.769167, -151.584444 (est)

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