SEA02LA128
SEA02LA128

On July 2, 2002, approximately 1900 mountain daylight time, a Taylorcraft F19, N374D, collided with trees while on short final for landing at a private airstrip near Heron, Montana. The aircraft was owned and operated by a commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant. The pilot was not injured, however, the aircraft received substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal pleasure flight, departed Sandpoint Airport, Sandpoint, Idaho, approximately 90 minutes prior to the accident, and was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot, it was a clear day with calm winds, and he was making his "normal approach" for landing on runway 34 at his 1,400 foot private grass airstrip. As soon as he thought he had cleared the trees off the southeast end of the airstrip, he closed the throttle and pushed the nose of the aircraft down in order to maintain the desired airspeed to the end of the runway. But, when he pushed the nose down, the left wing tip collided with a tree that he had not yet cleared, and the aircraft flipped upside down while about 50 feet above the ground and then impacted the terrain.

According to the pilot, there was no indication of any problem with the aircraft's flight controls or engine. He further stated that the only reason for the accident was that he failed to make sure he had cleared the trees.

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