Saturday, January 14, 2017

Piper PA-28-236 Dakota, N81839: Fatal accident occurred January 13, 2017 near Cape Blanco State Airport (5S6), Sixes, Curry County, Oregon

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

RAY WULFENSTEIN: http://registry.faa.gov/N81839 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: PORTLAND, OR


Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -   National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA052
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 13, 2017 in Port Orford, OR
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-236, registration: N81839
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 January 13, 2017, about 1125 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA 28-236, N81839, impacted a beach near Port Orford, Oregon. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local flight departed Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, North Bend, Oregon, at 1016. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot's son stated that earlier in the week his father had told him he planned to fly the airplane along the Oregon coast, once the weather had cleared.

On the morning of the accident, having received his takeoff clearance from North Bend Tower, the pilot indicated his intention to depart to the north and along the coast. At 1019, three minutes after takeoff, he advised being clear of the airport's Class D airspace, and at 1046, he reported back, indicating that he was now 10 miles north of the airport at 1,500ft. He requested and was granted a transition southbound along the coastline to the west, and the tower controller requested that he report crossing the extended centerline of runway 4. Having reached the centerline at 1052, the pilot reported his position. The tower controller acknowledged, and requested that he report when he had exited the airports airspace to the south. The pilot responded affirmative, however, by 1103 the tower controller had not received an update. The controller requested a position report, and the pilot responded, "I'm having trouble with err headphones err, say again." The controller asked that the pilot verify he was clear of the airspace, but only a muffled response was received.

About 10 minutes later, controllers from the Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (Seattle Center) received reports from crews of both a Coast Guard helicopter and an Air Force airplane that the pilot was transmitting on the "guard" aircraft emergency frequency (121.5), indicating that he had lost vision in one eye.

Due to terrain, radar data in the Port Orford area was limited; however, at 1122 a radar target utilizing the emergency squawk code of 7700 was recorded traveling northbound along the coastline, just west of Port Orford. The target was present for 24 seconds, during which time it descended from 1,300 to 1,225 ft msl while traveling at a groundspeed of 100 knots.


An Alert Notice (ALNOT) was subsequently issued, and about 1400 a Coast Guard Helicopter crew located the airplane wreckage on a beach, 4 miles north of the last recorded radar target.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.




The pilot of a plane that crashed on the beach near Cape Blanco State Park around noon Friday has been identified as Raymond J. Wulfenstein, 80, of Pahrump, Nevada.

Wulfenstein radioed FAA air controllers at about 11:50 a.m. Friday and said he was losing sight in one eye and needed to land, according to the Oregon State Police.

Wulfenstein was not heard from again. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew overheard the distress call and headed to the area to search for the aircraft, a Piper PA-28-236 Dakota.

The FAA notified Curry County 911 that a Coast Guard helicopter was looking for a plane south of Cape Blanco State Park. Sixes River Fire Department then confirmed the plane didn't land at the Cape Blanco State Airport.

At about 1 p.m., the Coast Guard helicopter crew found the crashed airplane on the beach near the mouth of the Elk River. The crew landed the helicopter and found Wulfenstein, who had been ejected during the crash, deceased.

Wulfenstein's family told authorities he also had a residence in Lakeside, Oregon, which is about 70 miles north of Cape Blanco State Park.

It's unknown if Wulfenstein was attempting a beach landing, a state police news release says. The plane was removed and taken offsite for National Transportation Safety Board investigators.

Source:  http://www.oregonlive.com





Ray Wulfenstein, pictured here in 2013, died Friday in a Piper PA-28-236 plane he was piloting in along the southern Oregon coast. 

Ray Wulfenstien, the patriarch of one of Pahrump’s founding and most recognizable families, was killed in a single-engine plane crash in southern Oregon on Friday.

According to multiple news sources in Oregon, Wulfenstein was flying his Piper PA-28-236 Dakota when it crashed around 1 p.m. on a beach in Curry County. He was alone on the plane.

According to KTVL-TV in Medford, “Oregon State Police said the US Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter to search the area after overhearing a distress call between a pilot and the FAA. They found the wreckage and alerted first responders. It is believed he suffered some sort of medical issue prior to the crash.”

Wulfenstein moved Pahrump in 1972 where he started a small motel business when state Route 160 was nothing more than a lonely deserted road in the middle of nowhere.

That business grew into an RV park, car wash, land development and a construction company that bears the family name.

Wulfenstein’s wife, Irene Wulfenstein, died in December 2014 at 76.

Source:   http://pvtimes.com




PORT ORFORD, Ore. – Emergency personnel responded to a plane crash Friday afternoon near the mouth of the Elk River and found a man deceased near the wreckage.

Saturday, Oregon State Police identified the man as 80-year-old Raymond J. Wulfenstein, of Pahrump, Nev. His family said he also resided in Lakeside, Ore.

Police say at about 11:50 a.m. Friday, Wulfenstein radioed FAA air controllers and said he was losing sight in one of his eyes and needed to land his plane.

FAA did not hear from him after that.

A US Coast Guard helicopter crew overheard the distress call and headed to the area to search for the aircraft south of the Cape Blanco State Park.

The FAA asked for assistance checking the Cape Blanco State Airport to see if the aircraft landed there. The Sixes River Fire Department confirmed the plane was not there.

Around 1 p.m., the Coast Guard helicopter located the crashed airplane on the beach.

The crew landed the helicopter and found Wulfenstein deceased near the crash site.

Police say they do not know if Wulfenstein was attempting a beach landing, but the Piper PA-28-236 Dakota he was flying collided violently with the sand.

The crash totaled the plane. It was later removed and taken offsite for NTSB investigators.

Source:   http://kval.com




Oregon State Police say a pilot was killed Friday after his plane crashed into a beach near Cape Blanco on the Oregon Coast.

He's been identified as 80-year-old Raymond Wulfenstein of Pahrump, Nevada.

Police say Wulfenstein radioed Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers around 11:50 a.m. and said that he was losing sight in one of his eyes and needed to land his plane.

That's the last time anyone heard from him.

A USCG helicopter crew overheard the distress call and headed to the area to search for the plane.

Around 1 p.m., the helicopter crew found the crashed airplane on the beach near the mouth of the Elk River. The crew landed and checked on Wulfenstein, who had been ejected during the crash and died at the scene.

The Curry County Sheriff's Office and OSP responded to the scene. They say it's unknown at this time if Wulfenstein was attempting a beach landing, but that his Piper PA-28-236 Dakota violently collided with the sand.

The plane was totaled following the crash and was later removed and taken offsite for National Transportation Safety Board investigators. 


Source:   http://katu.com



The pilot of a single-engine plane that left North Bend was killed when his aircraft crashed on the beach a mile from Cape Blanco Lighthouse around noon Tuesday.

At 1:15 p.m. the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter searching for the Cherokee aircraft found it and a man’s body on the beach just north of the mouth of the Elk River, according to dispatch reports.

Curry County Sheriff John Ward said it was a violent crash. The pilot’s identity was not released pending notification of next of kin. Ward said the man was not a resident of Curry County and was carrying an out-of-state driver license.

The investigation was handed over to the Oregon State Police.

At noon, the Curry County Sheriff’s dispatch received a call from the Federal Aviation Administration reporting that a pilot was in trouble near Cape Blanco.

Authorities further learned that the pilot was experiencing a medical condition that affected his eyesight and had radioed another pilot in the area, saying he was going to attempt an emergency landing at the Cape Blanco airport.

When the plane did not arrive there, authorities began a ground search in the area south to Port Orford, while a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from North Bend flew overhead.

The wreck was found on a long stretch of beach near Knapp Ranch, and authorities used off-road vehicles to investigate the accident. 

Source:  http://www.currypilot.com

CURRY COUNTY – Oregon State Police report that a plane went down two miles south of the lighthouse on Cape Blanco on Friday at 1:30 p.m. The plane reportedly went off the radar just before the Federal Aviation Administration called the Cape Blanco State Airport to notify local authorities of the incident.

It is not being confirmed whether the pilot of aircraft was alone or with passengers, or how they are doing.

"I can't confirm anything until the next of kin is notified," said Mitch Swecker, director of the Department of Aviation. "We own 28 airports around the state, including Cape Blanco State Airport, and we don't have staff down there so there isn't a whole lot of detail about the circumstances available right now."

Curry County Sheriff's Department has handed the case off to Oregon State Police.

“We are investigating a downed plane now,” said Tim Morse, dispatch supervisor for the Oregon State Police. “There's not much we can say yet.”

Though details of the crash are slim, Swecker expressed his sorrow to the pilot and the family members involved.

"As a pilot myself, it always concerns me when an aircraft goes down," he said. "I worry about everyone involved from the family to the aircraft occupants. Aviation in general can be unforgiving at times."

Source:  http://theworldlink.com

CAPE BLANCO, OR (KPTV) -  The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a fatal plane crash on the ocean beach near Cape Blanco Friday afternoon.

At 1:20 p.m. a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to search the Cape Blanco area after overhearing a distress call between a pilot and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The wreckage was found and first responders arrived to the scene.

Oregon State Police said a man's body was found near the wreckage. It is believed he suffered a medical issue prior to the crash.

The pilot's name is not being released at this time.

OSP is continuing to investigate the crash.

Source:  http://www.kptv.com

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