On September 13, 1997, at 1743 Alaska daylight time, a Piper PA-11 airplane, N4116D, sustained substantial damage during landing at the Gulkana airport, Gulkana, Alaska. The airplane was equipped with 26 inch tundra tires. The solo commercial certificated pilot was not injured. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91, as a local flight to conduct touch and go landings. Dusk, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot stated to the NTSB investigator that he was landing on runway 32, and winds were from 360 degrees at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots. He related that while on final approach to land, the airplane encountered a down draft, and that he did not react quickly enough. Prior to touchdown, the left wingtip struck a tree. He said that upon touchdown, he over-controlled and the airplane ground looped.

The pilot stated that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane, and that he failed to maintain directional control during landing.

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