Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Piper PA-18-150, Brooks Flyers LLC, N83641: Accident occurred November 22, 2016 in Bethel, Alaska

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: ANC17LA007
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 22, 2016 in Bethel, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18, registration: N83641
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 22, 2016, about 1400 Alaska standard time, a Piper PA-18 (Super Cub) airplane, N83641, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing, following a loss of engine power, near Bethel, Alaska. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, Brooks Flyer LLC, as a visual flight rules (VFR) aerial observation flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 when the accident occurred. The certificated commercial pilot and one passenger were uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight departed Bethel, at about 1050, with an intermediate stop at a remote unimproved landing site.

In a statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to conduct wildlife surveys for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He stated that about 2 hours and 40 minutes into the flight they landed on a remote gravel bar to take a break, followed by departure and climb-out a few minutes later. During the climb he noticed his oil pressure had redlined at 100 pounds per square inch (psi) with an oil temperature of 138 degrees Fahrenheit. In an effort to correct for the high oil pressure, he reduced his power to 2150 rpm and the oil pressure came down to 90 psi, with all other engine instruments in the normal range. He adjusted his course for Bethel while slowly climbing the airplane to about 1,000 feet above ground level, and applied the carburetor heat. Shortly thereafter, smoke began filling the cockpit. He turned into the wind, applied full flaps, reduced the power to idle, and selected a small frozen lake as an emergency landing site. While maneuvering for the emergency landing the engine lost all the power, and he made a forced landing in an area of tundra covered terrain. During the forced landing the airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. 

The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series engine. 

The closest weather reporting facility was Bethel Airport, Bethel, about 45 miles south of the accident site. At 1353, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) from Bethel Airport was reporting, in part: wind from 020 degrees at 10 knots; visibility 6 statute miles, mist; clouds and sky condition, few clouds at 15,000 feet, few clouds at 25,000 feet; temperature 0 degrees F; dew point -2 degrees F; altimeter 29.41 inHg.

An examination of the engine is pending.

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