On August 4, 2002, about 1700 Alaska daylight time, a Piper PA-18A-150 airplane, N9255D, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain during an aborted landing on Fortress Ridge, about 45 miles northeast of Chickaloon, 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 solo private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Taslina airstrip, 117 miles northeast of Chickaloon, about 0800, and was intended to be a local area flight with landings at several unimproved sites. No flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 6, the pilot said he had landed the airplane on Fortress Ridge. He said during the touchdown and landing roll, he realized the landing area he selected was rougher than he anticipated. He said he attempted to abort the landing, but as the airplane lifted off, the right main landing gear impacted elevated terrain. He said he was forced to continue the landing on the ridge top. He reported that both main landing gear attachment points, and the right wing lift strut, were damaged.

The pilot said he made two previous takeoffs that day, and there were no known mechanical anomalies with the airplane prior to the accident.

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