Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, G-BGWH, 14 April 2005

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, G-BGWH


During the take off roll from a farm strip, just before lift off, as the aircraft came over the brow of the first undulation, the aircraft drifted to the left. The instructor took control but was unable to regain the clear area on the runway. The aircraft hit a covered earth mound on the down slope beside and below the runway shoulder causing damage to the right main landing gear. Once airborne, the instructor assessed the damage to the aircraft visually from the rear cockpit. The engine and propeller appeared undamaged, as did the tailplane, the supporting struts and the left main landing gear. The right main landing gear however, could not be seen from the rear cockpit. The instructor decided to return to Clacton Airfield for a landing on its grass runway. On return to Clacton the instructor informed them of the damage and got an inspection of his undercarriage from them as he did a low fly by. From this it appeared that the right main landing gear had been bent underneath the aircraft although the left main landing gear appeared to be undamaged. Clacton radio asked the pilot if he would like the local emergency services to be placed on standby at the airfield, which he agreed to. The instructor attempted to land on the left main landing gear while trying to keep the right wing up with aileron. On touchdown however, the left main landing gear collapsed as soon as the weight of the aircraft came on to it. The aircraft then slid to a halt on its belly. As the aircraft came to rest the airfield’s fire appliance deployed to the scene and the local emergency services also arrived shortly afterwards. Both occupants exited the aircraft unassisted having sustained no injuries. The aircraft was secured and moved into the hanger where the damage was assessed by the resident maintenance organisation. Subsequently damage was found to the main landing gear, engine, propeller, one wing strut and distortion to parts of the fuselage.

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