Monday, July 19, 2021

Hard Landing: Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, N4365M; accident occurred July 18, 2020 in Lincolnville, Waldo County, Maine

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board
Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lincolnville, Maine 
Accident Number: ERA20CA268
Date & Time: July 18, 2020, 12:30 Local
Registration: N4365M
Aircraft: Piper PA 12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


At the conclusion of a local flight with stops at several airports, the pilot was returning to the private grass runway. The pilot described that the final approach to the runway was “too fast,” and that when the airplane touched down on the soft turf it bounced. When the airplane touched down a second time, the landing gear collapsed. The fuselage was substantially damaged. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper landing flare, which resulted in a bounced landing and subsequent main landing gear collapse.


Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Hard landing (Defining event)
Landing Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 25, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 562 hours (Total, all aircraft), 36 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N4365M
Model/Series: PA 12 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 12-3303
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 3, 2019 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1700 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 15 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O290-0-2
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 135 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Rockland, ME (RKD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lincolnville, ME (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 11:15 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Private PVT
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 386 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: UNKN
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1700 ft / 200 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 44.69429,-69.381042 (est)


  1. 3 hours in last 90 days, Airframe Total Time: 15 Hrs as of last (annual) inspection.

  2. 75 years old and 500 total time. Recipe for disaster....and he delivered