NTSB Identification: ANC02LA067.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 02, 2002 in TALKEETNA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N1129A
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 private certificated pilot was searching for a lost hiker along a river drainage in a float-equipped airplane. The pilot said he was maneuvering between 500 to 1,000 feet above the ground and had encountered turbulence that was being produced in the canyons along the river. Just before the accident, the pilot said a strong gust of wind yawed the airplane sideways, and lifted the left wing. The airplane descended toward the ground. The pilot leveled the airplane just before the float assembly collided with alder bushes along the bank of the river. The airplane then did a cartwheel and came to rest facing opposite the initial direction of travel. The airplane received damage to the float assembly, fuselage, and wings.

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

The pilot's inadequate weather evaluation, which resulted in a turbulence encounter and subsequent collision with a river embankment during maneuvering flight. A contributing factor was the presence of terrain induced turbulence.

Full narrative available

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