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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA001
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 01, 2016 in Fairbanks, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/05/2017
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7GCBC, registration: N8922
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane, during the approach, he applied carburetor heat, set airspeed to 70 knots, and set the flaps to 1 notch less than full. He reported that the flare and touchdown on the gravel runway was “very smooth.” However, he recalled that, when the tailwheel contacted the ground, the right wing ascended, and the left wing dragged across the ground. The pilot reported that the left wing strut failed and that the airplane nosed over and came to rest on the gravel runway. Additionally, the pilot noted that, after the accident, the wind sock indicated a direct crosswind from the right and varied between three-quarters to completely full.
However, postaccident photographs of the airplane revealed that the airplane’s left wing sustained damage to its top side. The bottom side of the left wing, the wing tip, and the wing strut revealed no indication of runway contact. The photographs revealed substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer and the rudder.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s improper crosswind correction, which resulted in a loss of pitch control and nose-over.