According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped Champion 7ECA, after performing a flight near Kinder, Louisiana, he made a normal approach to a dirt and grass covered airstrip.
As he executed a wheel landing, the airplane veered left of the airstrip as the left main landing gear began to sink into the mud. The airplane hit a barbed wire fence and came to rest nose down in a water-filled ditch.
The pilot shut off the aircraft systems and he and his passenger exited the airplane.
He saw fuel was leaking from the fuel tanks as a result of the angle at which the airplane came to rest. As the pilot and his passenger were walking away from the airplane, they heard the fuel ignite and the airplane became engulfed with flames.
The airplane sustained substantial fire damage to the wings and fuselage.
The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the airplane prior to or during the flight that would have prevented normal flight operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s selection of an unsuitable landing area, resulting in a loss of directional control during landing, an airstrip excursion, impact with a fence, and the subsequent airplane fire.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA175
This April 2016 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.