On August 16, 2001, about 1005 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Piper PA-18-160 airplane, N3685Z, sustained substantial damage while landing on a dry, paved runway at the Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The certificated private pilot, and the one passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 0930, from the pilot's residence at Wasilla, Alaska.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on August 21, the pilot reported that he was landing on runway 24. The pilot stated that during the landing roll, the airplane veered slightly to the left. He said that he added right rudder to correct the veer, but this action had no effect. The airplane ultimately ground looped to the left, and both main landing gear collapsed. The right wing struck the surface of the runway, and sustained substantial damage.

Merrill Field weather observation at the time of the accident was: Wind, calm; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, 1,000 feet scattered, 1,400 feet broken, 2,200 feet overcast; temperature, 59 degrees F; dew point, 53 degrees F; altimeter, 29.97 inHg.

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