This July 2009 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 J-3. Injuries: None. Location: South Charleston, W.Va. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was conducting takeoffs and landings in the late afternoon. The first two patterns went well, but during the third approach, the pilot was blinded by the setting sun during the landing flare. The plane touched down on its left main landing gear and bounced high. The pilot attempted to do a go-around, but the plane stalled and came down in trees alongside the runway.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control during the attempted go-around.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: ERA09CA390