According to the pilot, the Piper PA-18A departed the runway and climbed to 3,000′ above ground level.
She reported that while maneuvering, the airplane lost engine power. After several attempts to restart the engine, she made a forced landing on a highway bridge in Girdwood, Alaska.
During the landing roll, the right wing hit a sign that was affixed to the bridge.
According to the pilot, at the time of the accident, there were 20 gallons of fuel on board the airplane.
She reported that the airframe and powerplant mechanic removed approximately two cups of water from the fuel tanks after the accident in preparation for the airplane’s recovery.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing spar and aileron.
Probable cause: Fuel contamination resulting in the loss of engine power, a forced landing on a highway, and subsequent right wing impact with highway signage.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA102
This December 2015 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.