On July 20, 2005, at 1215 mountain daylight time, a single-engine Piper PA-16 airplane, N5942H, was substantially damaged following a loss of control while taking off near Park City, Montana. The certificated private pilot and her sole passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal cross-country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Shoshone Country Airport, Kellogg, Idaho, at 0700 Pacific daylight time, and was destined for the Laurel Municipal Airport (6S8), Laurel, Montana. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement and in a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that after exhausting her fuel supply the engine quit, necessitating an uneventful forced landing to a wheat field approximately 4 nautical miles west of 6S8. The pilot stated that a [north/south] gravel road bordered the field on the east side; however, she elected to land in the wheat field rather than the road due to telephone poles bordering the road on the east. After securing 5 gallons of fuel and measuring the width of the road, which was 36 feet wide, versus her 30 foot wide wingspan, the pilot elected to take off on the road and proceed to 6S8. The pilot reported that she decided to take off on the right side of the road in order to let her right wing extend over the field, there was plenty of length, and the strip was downhill. The pilot stated, "The gravel on the right was loose and the road had a slight crown, and I got off into the ditch, went up into the field and ground looped to the left across the road and impacted a wire fence. There was also a slight crosswind from the east."
The pilot reported the left wing outboard from the taxi/landing light was damaged, the left forward wing lift strut [was] bent, the left gear collapsed, and the propeller tips were bent.