NTSB Identification: ANC97TA095.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 27, 1997 in TOK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-180, registration: N3685Z
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 second pilot was a rated float plane pilot, but did not meet the criteria to act as pilot-in-command (PIC) by his employer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The PIC, who was also employed by the USFWS, was a certifcated flight instructor, and was giving additional instruction to the second pilot to meet the USFWS standards for PIC. The second pilot was flying at the time of the accident. The two pilots had been practicing touch-and-go landings on a lake. During the approach to land, the airplane's floats inadvertently touched on a flat, grassy area short of the water. Engine power was applied, and the airplane continued to the lake to make an uneventful landing. Postflight inspection disclosed a damaged fuselage near the left float's rear attachment point. The PIC believes the airplane may have encountered a downdraft just prior to touching down on the grassy area.

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

The second pilot/dual student's failure to maintain a proper glidepath, and the pilot-in-command/flight instructor's inadequate supervision. A factor associated with the accident was a downdraft.

Full narrative available

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