NTSB Identification: ANC11CA081
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 16, 2011 in Valdez, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-180, registration: N91134
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot said he was attempting to land a tailwheel-equipped airplane at an off-airport site, which was surrounded by higher terrain on all sides. Before beginning his approach, the pilot determined the wind conditions and then planned an approach into a 10-knot headwind. He said that, while on final approach to the site, he "side-slipped" the airplane to steepen the approach, and a sudden wind shift caused the airplane to descend faster than anticipated. He was unable to arrest the descent, and the airplane's main landing gear wheels collided with a mound about 150 feet short of the intended touchdown point. The airplane bounced as the pilot added engine power to cushion the landing, and as it touched down again, the main landing gear collapsed. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain the proper approach path, which resulted in a runway undershoot.

Full narrative available

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