The private pilot was attempting to land the Piper PA 18-150 at the airport in Monte Vista, Colo.
He reported that, due to equipment obstructing the 2,600-foo dirt runway at midfield, he conducted a shallow approach to land on the eastern half of the shortened runway with the plane pointed west almost directly into the setting sun, which resulted in sun glare.
When the plane was about 100 feet east of the end of the runway, the main landing gear hit a two-foot-tall barley crop, which slowed the airplane.
The pilot initiated a go-around, but he did not attain sufficient speed to maintain flight and exceeded the airplane’s critical angle-of-attack.
The plane subsequently stalled, hit terrain on the edge of the runway, and then came to rest inverted, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and the vertical tail surfaces.
The pilot was not injured and exited the airplane without assistance.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack during a go-around following impact with a barley crop, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.
Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to conduct a shallow approach with the airplane facing directly into the setting sun, which resulted in sun glare.
NTSB Identification: CEN14LA361
This July 2014 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.