Soft field landing goes badly

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Gerlach, Nev. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was flying the airplane over a large open desert playa. The surface appeared to be flat and dry.

Upon touching down, the landing gear dug into what turned out to be the about 8-inch deep soft soil. The airplane cartwheeled to a stop.

Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to land at an unknown off-airport location.

NTSB Identification: WPR11CA425

This September 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it isintended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


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