FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-09
NTSB Identification: WPR16FA169
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 27, 2016 in Madras, OR
Aircraft: BOEING A75N1(PT17), registration: N999PP
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On August 27, 2016, about 1425 Pacific daylight time, a Boeing A75N1 Stearman, N999PP, registered to Unusual Attitudes LLC and operated by the pilot sustained substantial damage when it impacted runway 34 during an aerial demonstration flight at Madras Municipal Airport (S33), Madras, Oregon. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The exhibition flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight.
The pilot was one of several civilian aerial demonstration pilots who performed at the 2-day "Airshow of the Cascades" which included both static and aerial displays.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information, the aerial demonstrations took place Friday evening and Saturday, August 26 – 27. The pilot flew the accident airplane in a practice session the morning of Friday, August 26, and then during a public demonstration later the same evening; both flights were uneventful.
The accident occurred during the second day of the event. Witnesses observed the airplane take off from runway 34 and continue down the runway at a low altitude before climbing directly into an inside loop. The airplane reached the apex of the loop inverted, and continued its descent in the loop before impacting the ground in a wings-level, approximate 10 to 20 degree nose-low attitude during the last ¼ of the maneuver. Witnesses described hearing no abnormalities with the sound of the engine, and further stated that it sounded as if the engine were producing power from takeoff until impact. Video footage of the accident showed the pilot performing a loop and descending from the top of the loop into terrain.
The airplane wreckage was located on the eastern edge, about two-thirds down the length of runway 34. All components of the airplane necessary for flight were accounted for at the accident site. The wreckage was recovered and transported to a secured location for further examination.
Alaska biplane pilot Marcus Paine suffered fatal injuries in the crash of his plane during an initial roll maneuver Saturday at the Airshow of the Cascades at Madras Airport, officials say.
MADRAS, Ore. - A pilot from Anchorage, Alaska died in the crash of his biplane during an initial loop shortly after takeoff at the Aishow of the Cascades at Madras Airport Saturday afternoon, Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins confirmed.
Adkins said Marcus Bruce Paine, 61, was at the controls of the Stearman biplane when the crash occurred during the second day of the two-day air show
"The FAA was at the air show and will be conducting a thorough investigation of the crash," Adkins said. "The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is also investigating the crash, with the assistance of the Madras Police Department.."
Air show spectators watched in shock and dismay as the exhibition turned tragically wrong on a warm, blue-sky day in Madras. Their photos and videos showed the smoke trail of a giant looping maneuver, followed a dark plume of smoke rising from the airfield as first responders rushed to the scene.
The air show's Website profile said, "Marcus Paine brings the thrill of aerobatic flight from his hometown of Anchorage, where he has lived for more than 40 years.
"Raised on a homestead in Rabbit Creek, Marc has been a pilot for over 20 years and is a skilled instructor - teaching pilots of all skill levels new ways of thinking about the principles of flight.
"He is also a distinguished graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer, Airborne Ranger, and Jumpmaster. He commanded a combat dive A Team and worked projects throughout the Middle East and South America," it noted.
The Alaska Air Show Website profile said Paine's flight school teaches "unusual attitude recovery, stall/spin awareness and aerobatic flight."
FAA records show the acrobatic plane was manufactured in 1941 and registered to Paine's Universal Attitudes LLC in Tucson, Arizona.
Marcus Bruce Paine, 61, was flying a Boeing Stearman biplane just before 3 p.m., according to a release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
According to one spectator, the plane was doing a very low altitude loop with the smoke trail, and about three-quarters of the way around the loop, Paine tried to pull up but the bottom of the plane still hit the ground.
“It bounced pretty hard on its belly and then slid a few feet,” said Mike Albright, of Bend, who was there watching and photographing the show.
Paine lived in his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, for more than 40 years, according to the Cascade Airshow website’s page about the pilot. He was raised on a homestead in Rabbit Creek.
The page described Paine as a “skilled instructor” who had been a pilot for more than 20 years. He taught “pilots of all skill levels new ways of thinking about the principles of flight,” according to the website.
Paine was a distinguished graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer, airborne Ranger and jumpmaster. He also commanded a combat dive A Team, working in the Middle East and South America, according to the website.
Mike Wissing, a squadron commander with High Desert Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, was working the event at the time of the crash. He said it was emergency responders, already on standby at the air show, who pulled Paine out of the plane as it began to burn. Jefferson County Ambulance and Fire were at the airshow, according to the release.
“The airplane literally hit the ground and those people were running over,” Wissing said.
Wissing, of Redmond, and Albright both said an air ambulance also arrived quickly. Albright said the man was put in the vehicle ambulance, not the helicopter.
Right after the crash occurred there wasn’t commotion, Albright said.
“Everyone was kind of in shock a little bit to start, and the announcers were very calm,” Albright said, explaining announcers advised parents to steer their children away.
Both men described the plane as a yellow biplane.
Like Albright, Wissing described the accident as happening as the pilot came out of “a low-level loop.” Wissing said his guess is Paine had a high-speed stall.
“It’s a well-known thing that happens when you’re pulling up too hard,” he said, adding that there could have been something wrong with the plane though.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which was at the airshow, will investigate the crash, and officials from the National Transportation Safety Board will also be coming to investigate, according to the news release. The sheriff’s office will also investigate with the help of Madras Police Department.
Following the crash, people started to wrap up the show, according to Wissing and Albright, who did not know the pilot had died.
Wissing said he’s been going to the annual air show at the Madras Airport for 10 years. It’s the first crash he’s heard of happening at that airport.
“It’s very, very unfortunate, but it’s one of those things,” Wissing said.
A spokesman for the Madras Airport could not be reached for comment.