Monday, August 28, 2017

Piper PA-12, N3233M: Accident occurred August 26, 2017 -and- Accident occurred January 14, 2010 in Gulkana, Alaska -and- Accident occurred February 01, 2007 in Glennallen, Alaska

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

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

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Operated by Wrangell Mountain Air Inc

http://registry.faa.gov/N3233M

Location: Gulkana, AK
Accident Number: GAA17CA511
Date & Time: 08/26/2017, 1400 AKD
Registration: N3233M
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Ferry

Analysis 

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane was transporting hunters to a remote cabin. The flight was a 146-mile multileg flight, which departed with about 20 gallons of fuel, which he believed was sufficient for the approximate 2-hour flight with about 30 minutes for fuel reserve.

The pilot reported that visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the flight, but he noted that, due to low stratus clouds and rain showers, he diverted from his planned flightpath. He added that, on the last leg of the flight, the unanticipated headwind component was about 15 to 25 mph. About 2 miles from his destination, fuel exhaustion occurred, and the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot deviated from his destination to a river to execute a forced landing. While on the base-to-final leg on landing approach, the headwind changed to a tailwind, and the airplane landed in a left-wing-low orientation.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate in-flight fuel planning, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. 

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Personnel issues
Fuel planning - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wind - Effect on operation
Rough terrain - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Miscellaneous/other

Enroute
Other weather encounter
Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)

The pilot of a tailwheel equipped airplane was transporting hunters to a remote cabin. The flight was a multi-leg flight and consisted of about 146 miles. The flight departed with about 20 gallons of fuel for the 2.5 hours of flight time, and about 36 minutes for fuel reserve.

The pilot reported that visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed during the flight, but he noted that due to low stratus clouds and rain showers, he diverted from his planned flight path. He added that on the last leg of the flight, the unanticipated head wind component was about 15-25 mph. About 2 miles from his destination, fuel exhaustion occurred, and the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot deviated from his destination to the copper river to execute a forced landing. While on the base to final leg on landing approach, the headwind changed to a tailwind, and the airplane landed in a left wing low orientation.

A postaccident exam of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 46, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/07/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/31/2017
Flight Time:   14000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 210 hours (Total, this make and model), 14000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 314 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 110 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N3233M
Model/Series: PA 12 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 12-2027
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/29/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1933 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3378.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2B
Registered Owner: Joel Boniek
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: WRANGELL MOUNTAIN AIR INC.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Operator Designator Code: WM9C 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAGK, 1562 ft msl
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 339°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 7°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots, 150°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.58 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Remote Cabin, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: GULKANA, AK (GKN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  62.169167, -145.410278 (est)

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Registered Owner:  Copper Valley Air Service LLC
Operator: Copper Valley Air Service LLC

NTSB Identification: ANC10LA012
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, January 14, 2010 in Gulkana, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-12, registration: N3233M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot was on a passenger flight when the accident occurred. The pilot said that, due to the cold outside temperature, he departed with the airplane's oil cooler cover in place. He said that the engine temperature increased and that he decided to land and remove the oil cooler cover. He then landed on a snow-covered lake and after landing he continued laying down tracks in the snow to aid in his departure. While laying down tracks the airplane's skis hit a ridge hidden under the snow. The pilot then examined the airplane and found that a fuselage frame tube had broken near the right main landing gear attachment. The pilot said that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing, which resulted in structural damage to the airplane during landing.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on January 15, the pilot said that due to the cold outside temperature, he departed Gulkana with the airplane's oil cooler cover in place. He said after departing, the engine temperature increased significantly, and he decided to land and remove the oil cooler cover. He reported that he chose a snow-covered lake for landing, and that after landing, he continued laying down tracks in the newly fallen snow to aid in his departure. The pilot said while laying down tracks the airplane's skis hit a ridge hidden under the snow. He said he examined the airplane and found a fuselage frame tube had broken near the right main landing gear attachment. He said he called for another airplane to pickup his passenger. The pilot said there were no mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the flight.

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Registered Owner: Copper Valley Air Service LLC

NTSB Identification: ANC07LA018
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, February 01, 2007 in Glennallen, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N3233M
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial certificated pilot was maneuvering to land his ski-equipped airplane on a snow-covered lake during a Title 14, CFR Part 91, personal flight. The pilot reported that he and his passenger were scouting the area for a wolf hunt, and decided to land on a remote frozen lake. While making a slight left turn toward the landing area, he said he encountered a windshear about 20 feet above the ground. He said the airplane was configured with 20 degrees of flaps, and the airspeed was about 45 mph. The pilot indicated the left wing stalled, and the airplane descended, colliding with the surface of the lake. The airplane received structural damage to the left wing, fuselage, and landing gear. The pilot described the wind conditions as light and variable winds, with no gusts. He also indicated that the wind shifted several times after the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed to preclude a stall while maneuvering, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and subsequent collision with terrain. Factors contributing to the accident were variable wind conditions, and an inadvertent stall.

On February 1, 2007, about 0945 Alaska Standard time, a ski-equipped Piper PA-12 airplane, N3233M, sustained substantial damage when it collided with snow-covered terrain while maneuvering to land on a remote lake, about 30 miles northwest of Glennallen, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated in visual meteorological conditions by the pilot/owner of Copper Valley Air Service, LLC, Glennallen. The commercial certificated pilot was not injured. The sole passenger received minor injuries. The flight originated at the Gulkana Airport, Gulkana, Alaska, about 0920, and no flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on February 2, the pilot reported that he and the passenger were scouting the area for a wolf hunt, and decided to land on a frozen lake. While making a slight left turn toward the landing area, he said he encountered a windshear about 20 feet above the ground. He said the airplane was configured with 20 degrees of flaps, and the airspeed was about 45 mph. The pilot indicated the left wing stalled, and the airplane descended, colliding with the surface of the lake. The airplane received structural damage to the left wing, fuselage, and landing gear.

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1) submitted by the pilot, the pilot described the weather conditions as clear, visibility unlimited, a temperature of about 15 degrees F, light and variable winds, with no gusts. He also indicated that he observed several wind shifts after the accident. Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

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

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Operated by Wrangell Mountain Air Inc

http://registry.faa.gov/N3233M

Location: Gulkana, AK
Accident Number: GAA17CA511
Date & Time: 08/26/2017, 1400 AKD
Registration: N3233M
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Ferry

The pilot of a tailwheel equipped airplane was transporting hunters to a remote cabin. The flight was a multi-leg flight and consisted of about 146 miles. The flight departed with about 20 gallons of fuel for the 2.5 hours of flight time, and about 36 minutes for fuel reserve.

The pilot reported that visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed during the flight, but he noted that due to low stratus clouds and rain showers, he diverted from his planned flight path. He added that on the last leg of the flight, the unanticipated head wind component was about 15-25 mph. About 2 miles from his destination, fuel exhaustion occurred, and the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot deviated from his destination to the copper river to execute a forced landing. While on the base to final leg on landing approach, the headwind changed to a tailwind, and the airplane landed in a left wing low orientation.

A postaccident exam of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 46, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/07/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/31/2017
Flight Time:   14000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 210 hours (Total, this make and model), 14000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 314 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 110 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N3233M
Model/Series: PA 12 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 12-2027
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/29/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1933 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3378.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2B
Registered Owner: Joel Boniek
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: WRANGELL MOUNTAIN AIR INC.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Operator Designator Code: WM9C 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAGK, 1562 ft msl
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 339°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 7°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots, 150°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.58 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Remote Cabin, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: GULKANA, AK (GKN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  62.169167, -145.410278 (est)

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Registered Owner:  Copper Valley Air Service LLC
Operator: Copper Valley Air Service LLC

NTSB Identification: ANC10LA012
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, January 14, 2010 in Gulkana, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-12, registration: N3233M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot was on a passenger flight when the accident occurred. The pilot said that, due to the cold outside temperature, he departed with the airplane's oil cooler cover in place. He said that the engine temperature increased and that he decided to land and remove the oil cooler cover. He then landed on a snow-covered lake and after landing he continued laying down tracks in the snow to aid in his departure. While laying down tracks the airplane's skis hit a ridge hidden under the snow. The pilot then examined the airplane and found that a fuselage frame tube had broken near the right main landing gear attachment. The pilot said that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing, which resulted in structural damage to the airplane during landing.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on January 15, the pilot said that due to the cold outside temperature, he departed Gulkana with the airplane's oil cooler cover in place. He said after departing, the engine temperature increased significantly, and he decided to land and remove the oil cooler cover. He reported that he chose a snow-covered lake for landing, and that after landing, he continued laying down tracks in the newly fallen snow to aid in his departure. The pilot said while laying down tracks the airplane's skis hit a ridge hidden under the snow. He said he examined the airplane and found a fuselage frame tube had broken near the right main landing gear attachment. He said he called for another airplane to pickup his passenger. The pilot said there were no mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the flight.

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Registered Owner: Copper Valley Air Service LLC

NTSB Identification: ANC07LA018
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, February 01, 2007 in Glennallen, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N3233M
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial certificated pilot was maneuvering to land his ski-equipped airplane on a snow-covered lake during a Title 14, CFR Part 91, personal flight. The pilot reported that he and his passenger were scouting the area for a wolf hunt, and decided to land on a remote frozen lake. While making a slight left turn toward the landing area, he said he encountered a windshear about 20 feet above the ground. He said the airplane was configured with 20 degrees of flaps, and the airspeed was about 45 mph. The pilot indicated the left wing stalled, and the airplane descended, colliding with the surface of the lake. The airplane received structural damage to the left wing, fuselage, and landing gear. The pilot described the wind conditions as light and variable winds, with no gusts. He also indicated that the wind shifted several times after the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed to preclude a stall while maneuvering, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and subsequent collision with terrain. Factors contributing to the accident were variable wind conditions, and an inadvertent stall.

On February 1, 2007, about 0945 Alaska Standard time, a ski-equipped Piper PA-12 airplane, N3233M, sustained substantial damage when it collided with snow-covered terrain while maneuvering to land on a remote lake, about 30 miles northwest of Glennallen, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated in visual meteorological conditions by the pilot/owner of Copper Valley Air Service, LLC, Glennallen. The commercial certificated pilot was not injured. The sole passenger received minor injuries. The flight originated at the Gulkana Airport, Gulkana, Alaska, about 0920, and no flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on February 2, the pilot reported that he and the passenger were scouting the area for a wolf hunt, and decided to land on a frozen lake. While making a slight left turn toward the landing area, he said he encountered a windshear about 20 feet above the ground. He said the airplane was configured with 20 degrees of flaps, and the airspeed was about 45 mph. The pilot indicated the left wing stalled, and the airplane descended, colliding with the surface of the lake. The airplane received structural damage to the left wing, fuselage, and landing gear.

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1) submitted by the pilot, the pilot described the weather conditions as clear, visibility unlimited, a temperature of about 15 degrees F, light and variable winds, with no gusts. He also indicated that he observed several wind shifts after the accident.

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