NTSB Identification: FTW97TA115.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 03, 1997 in LAREDO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N2320P
Injuries: 1 Minor.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.
The pilot was assisting ground agents (with the United States Border Patrol) in pursuit of an illegal alien and was visually monitoring the pursuit from an altitude of 500 feet AGL. He elected to make an off-airport landing to assist the ground agents. He configured the airplane (power idle, airspeed 45 mph, flaps 30 degrees) and initiated a 60 degree bank descending turn for landing. During the descending turn, the airspeed increased to approximately 60 mph. When the pilot leveled the wings, the airplane had a rapid closure rate with the ground (1,500 to 2,000 fpm). Realizing that the descent rate was too high, the pilot initiated a go-around; however, the airplane impacted the ground, rotated to the right while skidding, and came to rest 90 degrees to the approach path. The terrain was root plowed ground that was rough with patches of grass.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot allowed the airplane to get into an excessive rate of descent, during approach for an off-airport landing. Full narrative available
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