ANC05LA073
ANC05LA073

On May 7, 2005, about 1230 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Interstate S-1A airplane, N37209, sustained substantial damage when it nosed over after overrunning a remote airstrip, about 25 miles east of Palmer, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The private certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from a private airstrip, at Wasilla, Alaska, about 1100. 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 May 8, the pilot reported that he was landing on an airstrip in an area known as Grasshopper Valley. The airstrip is about 500 feet long, and 60 feet wide, oriented northwest/southeast, and has no wind indicators. The pilot said he flew several passes over the airstrip, and then landed toward the southeast. He said when the airplane touched down, it bounced slightly and floated. When it touched down again, he applied full engine power to abort the landing. He said the airplane did not seem to want to fly, and he pulled the engine power to idle and applied the brakes. The airplane overran the end of the strip, into an area of brush, encountered soft terrain, and nosed over. The airplane received structural damage to the right wing lift strut and the windshield. After the accident, the pilot reported that the wind appeared calm, but he thought that he may have encountered a slight tailwind during the landing.

Following the accident, the pilot said he turned the airplane's emergency locator transmitter (ELT) off and removed its batteries. He then began to hike out of the area. The airplane's ELT was detected by the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center. Search airplanes located the accident site, and a rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene about 1800. The helicopter crew did not find the pilot at the scene, but located him after dark, as he was pitching a tent for the night.

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