Poor approach for Pacer pilot

This October 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 Pacer. Injuries: None. Location: Valley, Wash. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot elected to land in a recently mowed field at his parent’s farm.

He overflew some nearby ponds to verify wind conditions, which appeared to be calm. He then decided to land to the north since the field sloped uphill in that direction.

During the landing sequence, he touched down long and then applied the brakes with such force that the airplane nosed over onto its back, substantially damaging both the fuselage and the left wing. After exiting the airplane, the pilot noted that there was an intermittent wind blowing from the south.

Probable cause: The pilot’s excessive brake application during the landing roll after overshooting the intended touchdown point, resulting in a nose over.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: WPR11CA007

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