On September 27, 2004, about 1700 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Piper PA-18-180 airplane, N3685Z, sustained substantial damage when it nosed over during the landing roll at a remote off-airport site, located about 28 miles east of Talkeetna, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The commercial certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at the Wasilla Airport, Wasilla, Alaska, about 1400. No flight plan was filed, nor was one required.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on September 29, the pilot reported that he was landing in a tundra-covered meadow. The pilot said that prior to landing, he made two passes over the site and visually checked the condition of the landing site before the accident landing. He said that during the landing roll, the main landing gear tires broke through the tundra, and the airplane nosed over. The airplane sustained structural damage to the left wing and left wing lift struts.

The pilot noted that there were preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

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