Saturday, April 24, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-18A 150 Super Cub, N184WF; accident occurred April 10, 2020 at Homer Airport (PAHO), Alaska

View of accident airplane inverted

View of damaged right wing lift strut 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Homer, AK
Accident Number: ANC20CA042
Date & Time: 04/10/2020, 0008 AKD
Registration: N184WF
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 wheel- and ski-equipped airplane reported that, during the landing roll on the dry, paved runway, the airplane began to veer right, and he attempted to correct with left rudder and brake. Subsequently, the tail lifted, the tips of the skis dug into the grooved pavement, and the airplane nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage and right-wing lift strut. The pilot added that he should have been "more aggressive" with the rudder and applied brakes sooner. He added that he had a long runway to use but got "fooled into complacency." The pilot reported that he felt his use of a flight helmet during the accident sequence was essential to the prevention of injury.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's overapplication of the brakes during landing and the subsequent loss of directional control and nose-over.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Surface speed/braking - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Brake - Incorrect use/operation
Personnel issues Complacency - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-landing roll Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
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 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/28/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/25/2019
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 1201 hours (Total, all aircraft), 750 hours (Total, this make and model), 1101 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N184WF
Model/Series: PA18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1959
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-6961
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/01/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3427.3 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-B2C
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night 
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAHO, 73 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0753 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 244°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.48 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Anchorage, AK (MRI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Homer, AK (HOM)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory
Departure Time: 2231 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Airport Information

Airport: HOMER (HOM)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 84 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry 
Runway Used: 22
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6701 ft / 150 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: 59.645556, -151.476389 (est)

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