NTSB Identification: ANC02LA009.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 12, 2002 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/26/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N9908D
Injuries: 2 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 certificated flight instructor was providing instruction to the private pilot/new owner of a tundra tire-equipped, tailwheel airplane. The flight instructor occupied the rear seat of the airplane. The pilot/owner had accrued 66 total flight hours, 14 hours as pilot-in-command, and .5 hours in the accident airplane. Five minutes after takeoff, the student was performing a landing on an asphalt surface runway that had areas of ice along the edges. During the landing roll the airplane began to drift to the right. The instructor applied left rudder, but the airplane departed the right side of the runway into an area of snow. The airplane nosed over and received damage to the propeller, fuselage, and wing lift struts. The right master brake cylinder, installed in the front seat area, was serviced before the flight. A heater hose was installed in the cabin to direct heat into the rear seat area. The instructor reported that the airplane's right brake felt as if it was locked, which she said may have been due to overfilling the brake reservoir, and heating of the brake cylinder by the heater. The instructor cited two previous NTSB reports of brake cylinder locking after extended flight with a heater hose blowing hot air on a brake reservoir. A review of the two previous accidents disclosed airplanes had locked brakes during landing, both within five days of each other in 1997. The previous NTSB accident reports involved two aircraft where a heater hose was directed onto the master brake cylinders after the brake cylinders were serviced. One of the accidents involved 1.5 hours of flight time before landing. The second accident involved 3 hours of flight time before landing. The accident airplane's brake system was not examined postaccident.

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

The flight instructor's inadequate supervision of the flight. Factors in the accident were the student's failure to maintain directional control of the airplane during the landing roll, icy runway conditions, and snow-covered terrain along the runway edges.

Full narrative available

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