The pilot was landing at a remote, off-airport site in Cordova, Alaska, in a tailwheel-equipped Piper PA-18-150. He stated it was an area he was familiar with and was aware of the approaching weather.
As he was about to land he said a heavy rain shower was developing with gusty wind conditions.
Just before landing a gust picked up his right wing, which lowered his left wing into brush, causing the airplane to ground loop.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left and right wing tips, and fuselage.
The pilot stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He added in the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident Reporting Form 6120.1 that the accident could have been prevented if he had waited for the rain shower and wind conditions to decrease before landing.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause as the pilot’s decision to land and failure to maintain control of the airplane during landing in gusty wind conditions.
NTSB Identification: ANC15CA002
This October 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.