NTSB Identification: WPR11LA076
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 13, 2010 in College Place, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/2011
Aircraft: TAYLORCRAFT BC12-65, registration: N36041
Injuries: 1 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 had just performed four uneventful takeoffs and landings in light and variable wind. He then deplaned a passenger and departed for a short local flight. About 20 minutes later, he returned to land on the same runway. He noted that the sun was low on the horizon, and as he turned the airplane onto the final approach leg of the traffic pattern, his view became completely obscured by the sun's glare. He maneuvered the airplane in an unsuccessful attempt to see the runway, and the airplane subsequently struck trees located approximately 250 feet to the right of the runway. The airplane departed controlled flight and struck the ground, which resulted in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot stated that he did not correct for a crosswind during the final approach, and the airplane drifted from the runway centerline. The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. A Safety Board computer program used to calculate the position of the sun and moon was used and the sun disk was determined to be 1.8 degrees above the western horizon on an azimuth of 233.2 degrees.

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

The pilot's failure to abort the landing when he lost sight of the runway due to sun glare, and his inadequate compensation for the crosswind.

Full narrative available

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