The Cessna 180A pilot had been cleared to land long on the runway at Anchorage, Alaska, as requested. However, he became aware of a faster airplane that would be landing behind his plane, so he decided to land closer to the approach end so that he could exit the runway about midfield instead.
He reported that the new landing location resulted in an encounter with turbulence and a left crosswind from the lingering jet blast from a Boeing 747 that departed from an adjacent runway. The airplane veered sharply right during the wheel landing and ground-looped.
The air traffic controller had included a “caution jet blast” advisory in the pilot’s landing clearance, and FAA guidance states that pilots conducting operations under visual flight rules are expected to adjust the flightpath, as necessary, to avoid wake encounters.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s loss of directional control during a wheel landing.
NTSB Identification: ANC13LA067
This July 2013 accident report is are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Report has it correct in that the cause of loss of control was the jet blast from the heavy. Had he landed longer as initially planned he could have encountered classic wake turbulence though the heavy probably didn’t lift off until much farther down the runway where there would have been tip vorticies created and the usual associated wake turbulence. Sticking the tail wheel in a 3 pointer would have aided directional control and likely prevented loss of control.
Ed Cox says
Nit picking, I realize, but jet blast wasnt the culprit. It was wake turbulence. Two different hazards.
I’d have to say I agree with the report. If he landed near the approach end, i.e. the takeoff end for the 747, it would seem to be jet blast. The 747 wouldn’t have been generating wake vortices until liftoff well down the runway.