The pilot reported that during landing on a coastal beach in Anchor Point, Alaska, the Piper PA-18’s left wing hit a driftwood tree branch that protruded from a higher berm.
The airplane spun to the left, which resulted in substantial damage to the elevator and both ailerons.
The pilot added he had seen the tree, but not the branch, on his initial flight over the landing area while looking for debris.
The pilot reported that there were no pre-impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from obstacles while landing on a coastal beach.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA436
This August 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.