SEA98LA151
SEA98LA151

On July 26, 1998, approximately 1430 Pacific daylight time, a Curtis-Wright 12W biplane, N11715, was substantially damaged when its right lower wing impacted tall vegetation at the edge of the runway while landing at Woodland, Washington. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which originated at Vancouver, Washington, about twenty minutes before the accident. There was no report of an ELT actuation.

In his written statement, the pilot stated that "from the air, the freshly mowed overrun looked inviting. With the antique I prefer to land on grass over paving if I have the option. The local pilots were having a B-B-Q in the picnic area at the south end of the runway. I decided to land on the grass and pull off into the picnic area instead of having to back taxi on the pavement. The stand of scotch bloom showed as a dark green from the air and appeared to be grass. I slipped in, touched down straight and was tracking near the middle of the mowed area when my right wing tip caught in the scotch bloom, pulling me to the right and tipping me onto the left wing tips. The only damage was to both left wings and prop."

The pilot told FAA inspectors that he was landing to the north when the lower right wing encountered tall grass and vegetation (later measured as 8-9 foot tall scotch broom). The vegetation pulled the aircraft off the right side of the runway, and the lower left wing impacted the ground, causing substantial damage. According to FAA inspectors, the first signatures of impact were 62 feet from the near end of the runway. The airplane came to a stop 247 feet from the near end of the runway. The width of the mowed area of the runway was 49.5 feet, at the time the FAA inspector checked it. The pilot stated that the mowed overrun of 800 feet was mowed 25 feet wide up to the edge of the eight to nine feet high scrub brush at the time of the accident, and that his airplane had a 28 foot wing span.

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