ANC03LA027
ANC03LA027

On February 11, 2003, about 1200 Alaska standard time, a wheel-equipped Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N4492A, sustained substantial damage when it encountered puddles of standing water during the takeoff roll, and nosed over on Longmare Lake, about 5 miles east of Soldotna, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) local 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.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on February 11, the pilot said that prior to takeoff he walked a large portion of the frozen lake to check its suitability for use. He said although recent rain left about 2 inches of standing water on the ice-covered surface of the lake, he felt the lake was suitable for takeoff. The pilot said during the takeoff roll, the airplane encountered standing water deeper than he expected. He said as the tail lifted and transferred the weight of the airplane to the main landing gear, the main wheels encountered deeper water, and the airplane nosed over.

The pilot said there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane. The airplane received wing and lift strut damage during the accident.

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