Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC-12-65. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: College Place, Wash. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot departed for a short local flight. About 20 minutes later, he returned to land. The sun was low on the horizon, and as he turned onto the final approach leg of the traffic pattern, his view became completely obscured by the sun’s glare. The airplane hit trees about 250 feet to the right of the runway.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to abort the landing when he lost sight of the runway due to sun glare.
NTSB Identification: WPR11LA076
This December 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.