NTSB Identification: SEA02LA058.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 25, 2002 in Fort Peck, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/09/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N22EV
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 pilot was conducting a predator (coyote) control flight over private rangeland. During the flight, at a reported altitude of approximately 40 feet above ground level (AGL), the passenger inadvertently discharged a semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun. The pilot, who was seated in the forward seat, reported that the gun fired 3-4 times, striking the right wing, fuel tank and aileron assembly. He reported that the damage resulted in a loss of aileron and elevator control. The airplane entered a descending turn to the right and subsequently impacted terrain in a nose-low attitude. The pilot reported the aircraft was on fire upon touchdown and continued to burn after the impact. The pilot reported that there were no preexisting mechanical malfunctions or failures that contributed to the accident.

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

The pilot's inability to maintain aircraft control and foreign object damage to the aileron and wing. The restricted movement of the flight controls was a factor.

Full narrative available

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