Landing on a wet grass runway proves fatal

General Aviation News will often reprint accident reports from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including an October 2009 accident report that involved a Piper Archer in Oliver Springs, Tennessee.

According to the accident report, a pilot was attempting to land on a grass runway that was wet. When the Piper touched down on the runway, it bounced back into the air.

The Piper then touched down on the runway for a second time. However, the aircraft then turned about 45° to the left and skidded toward the woods bordering the runway. The aircraft crashed through a fence and hit a tree with the left side of the cockpit taking the full force of the impact – causing one fatal injury and three minor injuries.

To avoid having the same situation happen to you, check out a great article by William L. Gruber that’s posted in the Flight Training section of the AOPA’s website. Gruber noted that landing on a grass field takes extra care because they are constantly changing depending upon the season and the amount of recent rainfall in the area. He also noted that it will take much longer to get off the ground on a wet grass runway than on one that is dry.

In other words, be extra careful during any wet season and be sure to talk to pilots who have recently used the grass runways you intend to use.

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