Turbulence catches Cub

This September 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Super Cub. Injuries: None. Location: White Sulphur Springs, Mont. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot planned to land in an open field in front of a friend’s mountain cabin. He made his first approach dragging the airplane’s wheels across the ground to test the roughness of the terrain before landing. He then initiated a go-around with the intent of landing during the next pass.

As he applied power, the airplane encountered turbulence so severe that it came down hard in a stand of trees and caught fire.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during a go-around in turbulent wind conditions, which resulted in a collision with trees.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: WPR10CA469

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