NTSB Identification: ANC04LA033.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 29, 2004 in Big Lake, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-15, registration: N4492H
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 reported he was in cruise flight, about 800 feet agl, when the ski-equipped airplane began an uncommanded left turn. He applied right aileron control in an attempt to straighten the airplane, but the airplane's left bank became increasingly steep. He also applied right rudder to prevent the airplane from becoming inverted. He said the airplane was in a left descending spiral, and he decided to land as soon as possible. He selected an emergency landing area on a small frozen lake, but was unable to achieve his selected spot. He then selected a stand of trees, and during the landing, the airplane's wings, landing gear, and fuselage received extensive damage. The pilot said that the entire emergency event lasted about one minute. The airplane was rebuilt about 5 months before the accident, and had accrued about 2 hours of operation since the rebuild. The airplane skis were installed just prior to the accident flight. The airplane was disassembled and recovered from the accident site. The airplane fuselage and components were examined by NTSB and FAA personnel. No evidence of a flight control system malfunction was found. The ski retention cables and springs exhibited no anomalies.

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

An in-flight loss of control for an undetermined reason, which resulted in a forced landing and in-flight collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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