NTSB Identification: ANC97LA053.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 18, 1997 in NIKISKI, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N92793
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The solo student pilot was practicing takeoff and landings in his airplane. The airplane had previously been equipped with fixed skis. The pilot removed the skis, and replaced them with large tundra tires. The pilot landed at an intermediate airport, and attempted to turn the airplane to the left in preparation for departure. The airplane was hard to turn, and the pilot got out of the airplane and physically moved the tail around to position the airplane for takeoff. After liftoff, the pilot noticed the left wheel and tire fall off the axle. He continued to his destination and landed on a gravel runway at a private airstrip. After touchdown, the right main gear collapsed, folding under the wheel. The airplane received damage to the main landing gear, the right wing spar, and right wing lift struts. An inspection of the airplane revealed the left wheel axle retaining nut was missing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's improper installation of the landing gear wheel.

Full narrative available

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