The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. Aviation
Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
STATE OF ALASKA: http://registry.faa.gov/N9084J
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03
NTSB Identification: ANC17LA006
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Friday, November 11, 2016 in Bethel, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA32R, registration: N9084J
Injuries: 1 Minor.
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 11, 2016, about 1650 Alaska standard time, a Piper Saratoga PA-32R-301, N9084J, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Bethel, Alaska. The certificated commercial pilot, and sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to the State of Alaska, and operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a public aircraft operations flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Bethel Airport, Bethel, about 1645, destined for Nunapitchuk Airport, Alaska.
During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on November 28, the pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to transport two passengers from Nunapitchuk to Bethel. The airplane flew the same route earlier that day. The pilot reported that he departed runway 1L and was climbing out to the west through about 800 feet, when he heard and felt a momentary vibration and noted the engine oil pressure at zero pounds per square inch (psi). He made an immediate left turn back to the airport and declared an emergency with Bethel tower. While maneuvering for an emergency landing at the airport, the engine began "popping loudly" and engine oil splattered the wind screen. The pilot noted that oil was exiting the top of the engine cowl. Shortly thereafter, the engine seized and the propeller stopped rotating. The pilot maneuvered to land in the tundra covered terrain southwest of the airport, away from residential areas. He elected not to lower the flaps to ensure he would make the intended point of landing. After landing and during the rollout, he felt multiple impacts, followed by the airplane skidding to the left. The nose and left main landing gear collapsed during the skid. The left wing impacted terrain and sustained substantial damage. The pilot said that the plane filled up with thick blue smoke and he egressed after motion stopped.
The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming IO-540 engine.
A detailed examination of the engine is pending.
The closest weather reporting facility is Bethel Airport, Bethel, about 1 mile northeast of the accident site. At 1653, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) from the Bethel Airport was reporting in part: wind from 030 degrees at 10 knots; clouds and sky condition, scattered at 10,000 feet, broken at 25,000 feet; visibility 10 statute miles; temperature 21 degrees F; dewpoint 19 degrees F; barometric pressure 28.98 inHg.
An Alaska State Trooper plane made an emergency landing around the Kasayulie subdivision of Bethel.
Troopers say the pilot was the only one on board the plane and no injuries were reported.
A witness says the emergency landing happened at 5pm Friday shortly after the plane took off.
No other information was available at the time this story was published.