Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N323DH; accident occurred May 15, 2020 at Skwentna Airport (PASW), Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Skwentna, AK
Accident Number: ANC20CA048
Date & Time: 05/15/2020, 1625 AKD
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 was landing the tailwheel and tundra tire-equipped airplane on a gravel surfaced runway. After touchdown, the airplane veered right and the pilot applied left rudder and left brake, but the airplane continued and ground looped. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left elevator and left wing.

The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operations.

In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, the pilot stated that the accident may have been prevented if she had been more proficient in the accident airplane.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a ground loop.


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Private
Age: 31, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/15/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/30/2019
Flight Time:  1848.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 12.6 hours (Total, this make and model), 248.6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 46.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3.3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N323DH
Model/Series: PA18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane 
Year of Manufacture:1963 
Amateur Built: No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-7939
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/27/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4441 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: Kleinsmith Stacee F
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 0053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: 
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Birchwood, AK (BCV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Skwentna, AK (SKW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1515 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Skwentna (SKW)
Runway Surface Type: Gravel
Airport Elevation: 148 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry 
Runway Used: 10
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3400 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

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: 61.966111, -151.195278

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