LAX01LA269
LAX01LA269

On August 4, 2001, at 1619 Pacific daylight time, a Luscombe 8A single engine airplane, N28882, was substantially damaged during a precautionary landing in a field near Fort Bragg, California. The private pilot and private pilot passenger both received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot/owner as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the local flight.

The flight originated at a private airstrip near Fort Bragg, about 1535, and flew to Little River, California (13 miles south of Fort Bragg), for three takeoffs and landings. According to the pilot's written statement, he departed on the flight with 1/2-full fuel tanks because of the airplane "load, runway length, obstructions, and temperature." On the return leg, he noted fog developing near Fort Bragg, and could not locate the airport. The pilot attempted to divert to another private airstrip but could not find it due to the fog. The pilot also attempted to return to Little River, but noticed fog and could not see the airport. With about 3 gallons of fuel remaining, the pilot decided to make a precautionary landing on a ranch road near Fort Bragg. The pilot stated that during the close in approach, while turning to the right to align the airplane with the road, he "allowed the airspeed to get too slow." The right wing "stalled" and impacted the ground, followed by the nose, left wing, and landing gear. The pilot stated that the weather was clear at the accident site, and there were no airplane or engine issues.

The airplane sustained structural damage to the outboard wings, fuselage, and horizontal stabilizer.

Under the section titled "Recommendations (How Could This Accident Have Been Prevented," in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB 6120.1/2), the pilot wrote, "keep airspeed high enough to avoid stall in turn."


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