NTSB Identification: ANC11CA089
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 29, 2011 in Cape Yakataga, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N82448
Injuries: 2 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 reported that, during the initial climb, he inadvertently switched off the engine magnetos with his coat sleeve while using the trim handle causing the airplaneā€™s engine to shut down; the switches were located on the left side of the cabin. The pilot realized the problem, but, due to the airplane's low altitude, he decided to land instead of trying to restart the engine and climb over obstacles at the end of the airstrip. The airplane touched down in an area of tree stumps and brush, sustaining substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

A postaccident examination of the magneto switches on the accident airplane and other like models revealed that a pilot's coat sleeve can contact and move the guarded magneto switches. The pilot stated that the accident could have been prevented by moving the magneto switches to the instrument panel.

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

The pilot inadvertently switching off the engine magnetos during the initial climb, resulting in a loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the manufacturer's placement of the magneto switches.

Full narrative available

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