Sandbar landing goes bad

Aircraft: Piper Super Cub. Injuries: None. Location: Carnation, Wash. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: During a local area flight, the pilot decided to make a practice landing on a gravel bar near the middle of a river.

With limited landing distance, he decided to fly his approach at a low airspeed, with the intention of touching down at the very edge of the bar. While on short final, the airplane encountered a downdraft and its main landing gear tires touched the surface of the water, the drag of the water on the tires flipped the airplane onto its back.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to attain the proper touchdown point during a practice off-airport landing.

NTSB Identification: WPR11CA040

This November 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.

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