On July 2, 1997, about 0815 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire equipped Piper PA-18, N5582C, crashed during landing at the Nenana Municipal Airport, Nenana, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country government flight under Title 14 CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The airplane, operated by the Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks, Alaska, sustained substantial damage. The certificated private pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, about 0730.

On July 2, 1997, the pilot reported in a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), he was planning to practice touch and go landings. During the initial landing roll on runway 03, an asphalt covered runway, the airplane ground looped to the right. The left main gear collapsed, and the left wing struck the ground. The pilot indicated he had accrued 172.4 hours of total pilot experience with about 18 hours in tailwheel airplanes.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, Fairbanks Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), reported the airplane received damage to the left wing, left landing gear, left elevator, and the fuselage, forward of the tail wheel.

The passenger reported the weather conditions as clear; visibility, 10 miles in haze; temperature, 75 degrees F; and calm wind conditions.

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