The pilot reported that, while on a personal cross-country flight and approaching his destination airstrip, smoke in the cockpit and oil on the windscreen limited his forward visibility.
He said that, while landing, he inadvertently touched down about 15 yards short of the site. The right wing hit a stand of brush, which pivoted the Bellanca 7GCBC to the right, and the left wing hit the ground.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left-wing spar and fuselage.
After the accident, the pilot would not disclose to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or the Alaska State Troopers where the airplane was located. Neither the FAA nor NTSB could examine the airplane after the accident.
The airplane was eventually recovered to Soldotna, Alaska, where an FAA airworthiness aviation safety inspector from the Anchorage Flight Standards District Office examined it. The FAA inspector reported that the accident pilot had since sold the airplane on an “as is where is” basis.
The new owner reported that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane except for the damage sustained in the accident.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain an adequate glidepath during landing, which resulted in an unintended touchdown before the chosen landing area.
NTSB Identification: ANC16CA073
This September 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.