The pilot made an off-airport precautionary landing due to turbulent conditions. During the landing roll in a pasture in Rosendale, Wisconsin, the Ercoupe 415C’s nose gear hit a “line fence” and nosed over.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
An automated weather observation station nine miles northeast of the accident site reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 080° at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear of clouds, temperature was 13°C (55°F) and the dew point was 4°C (39°F).
Probable Cause: The pilot’s selection of unsuitable terrain for an off-airport precautionary landing, which resulted in impact with a fence and a nose-over.
SAFE CFI Commentary
SAFE‘s Master CFIs review these NTSB Accident Reports published in General Aviation News to provide questions and suggestions for improvement.
An inadequate pre-flight put this pilot into conditions he was uncomfortable with (and panicking). His selection of an off-field landing was an extreme solution with no immediate threat. Without an adequate survey of the pasture (a flyover?), the result was unsuccessful. Many steps in a chain of events to an unhappy ending.
This May 2019 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.