NTSB Identification: DEN06LA011.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 26, 2005 in Cortez, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N4055Z
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 pilot said that he was attempting to land in a pasture next to his home when he noticed a horse near the approach end. He elected to land long to avoid the horse but realized there was not enough pasture remaining. He attempted a go-around and added full power but could not arrest the sink rate. He decided to land the airplane in the remaining pasture. He landed with power in a nose high attitude at stall speed. The left wing struck the ground, causing the airplane to rotate 180 degrees to the left, and the right wingtip dragged along the ground. The pilot said he was not use to the extra weight of a full fuel load and carrying a rear seat passenger with a 5 knot tailwind. Density altitude at the time of the accident was calculated to be 7,741 feet mean seal level (msl).

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

the pilot's failure to maintain directional control of the airplane, resulting in a ground loop. Contributing factors were the excessive descent rate, the obstacle (horse), the high density altitude, and the tailwind.

Full narrative available

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