ANC05CA096
ANC05CA096

On July 6, 2005, about 1300 Alaska daylight time, a tailwheel-equipped Piper PA-18-160 airplane, N18VF, sustained substantial damage during an in-flight collision with trees while on an approach to land at an off airport site, located about 21 miles southwest of Hope, 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 private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at the Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, about 1030. 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 July 8, the pilot reported that he was landing at an off airport site that was surrounded by trees. He said that as the airplane continued on the approach, he inadvertently allowed it to descend slightly below the intended glide path while on short final, and the left wing struck a stand of trees. The airplane pivoted to the left, and the right wing and right horizontal stabilizer collided with the tundra-covered terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing spar, and the right horizontal stabilizer. The pilot noted that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.






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