The solo student pilot reported that during a day visual meteorological condition flight, in the landing flare he saw a deer where he intended to touch down at the airport in Williamsburg, Virginia.
He banked to the right and applied power to go-around, but during the turn to the right he was unable to clear a line of trees in his flight path.
The student pilot reported that the landing gear “scraped” one line of trees, and in order to avoid a thicker line of trees ahead, he forced the airplane down into a marsh area.
The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage.
During a post-accident interview with an airport representative, he reported that the airport does not a have a perimeter fence.
The Federal Aviation Administration Chart Supplement airport page for the airport in part states: “Deer and birds on and in the vicinity of airport.”
Probable cause: An evasive maneuver during the landing flare to avoid deer on the runway, which resulted in a collision with trees and terrain during a go-around. Contributing to the accident was the lack of an airport perimeter fence.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA396
This July 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.