Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N8664Y: Fatal accident occurred June 24, 2018 in Delta Junction, Alaska

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

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

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


Location: Delta Junction, AK
Accident Number: ANC18FA050
Date & Time: 06/24/2018, 1040 AKD
Registration: N8664Y
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18-150
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 24, 2018, about 1040 Alaska daylight time, a Piper PA-18 airplane, N8664Y, sustained substantial damage during an impact with terrain about 26 miles southwest of Delta Junction, Alaska. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 visual flight rules flight when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight had departed from a private site known as Sewell Strip, near Salcha, Alaska about 1022 destined for a homestead located about 8 miles west of McCarthy, Alaska.

On June 25, concerned family members contacted the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) to report the overdue aircraft. An alert notice (ALNOT) was issued at 1139 and an extensive search began. The search consisted of assets from multiple agencies, including the Alaska Air National Guard, Alaska Army National Guard, US Marine Corps, Civil Air Patrol, Alaska State Troopers and Good Samaritans. The aircraft was located on June 27 by an aircrew from the Alaska Army Nation Guard; both occupants were found deceased.

The NTSB Investigator-in-Charge (IIC), along with another NTSB Investigator and two Alaska State Troopers reached the accident site on June 28 with assistance from the Alaska Army National Guard. The airplane was located on a knoll consisting of sparsely populated spruce trees and muskeg on a heading of about 265° and an elevation of about 2,550 ft mean sea level (MSL). The initial ground scar was discernable by disturbed vegetation and small wreckage fragments which included the right navigation light lens. The main wreckage came to rest about 100 ft from the initial ground scar.

A review of archived Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar data showed the aircraft departed Sewell Strip about 1022 and the last radar observation was about 1037. The accident site was located about 9 miles south of the last radar observation.

The airplane was equipped with a legacy, 121.5 megahertz (MHz) emergency locator transmitter (ELT), and not a digital 406 MHz ELT that instantly transmits a distress signal to search and rescue satellites, thereby alerting rescue personnel within minutes of the location of the crash site. As of February 1, 2009, analog, 121.5 MHz ELT's stopped being monitored by search and rescue satellites, and the installation of the 406 MHz has been voluntary. The NTSB IIC observed the ELT was still secure in the cradle with the antenna attached. Upon removal, it was discovered the switch was in the "OFF" position. To test the ELT, the switch was placed in the "ON" position and a signal was heard broadcasting on frequency 121.5MHz. When the switch was placed back to "OFF," the broadcast stopped. The switch was then positioned to "ARM" and the ELT G-force activation was tested, at which point the signal was again heard. A placard on the ELT showed the battery was manufactured in April of 2017 and was due to expire in June of 2019.

The closest official weather reporting facility was Allen Army Airfield (PABI), about 22 miles northeast of the accident site. At 0953, a METAR reported, in part: wind 260 at 8 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; light rain; ceiling 6,000 ft broken, 10,000 ft overcast; temperature 55° F, dewpoint 48° F; altimeter 29.96 inches of Mercury.

A detailed wreckage examination is pending. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming O-320 series engine.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N8664Y
Model/Series: PA 18-150 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PABI, 1277 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 260°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Salcha, AK
Destination: Mccarthy, AK (0AK8) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 63.858611, -146.493056

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. 

Art Ward poses in front of his Super Cub airplane earlier this summer. 

FAIRBANKS — The wreckage of a plane missing since Monday was spotted Wednesday afternoon. The occupants of the plane, a longtime Salcha couple, were dead, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Searchers in about 20 planes had been scouring the region between Fairbanks and McCarthy when the wreckage was spotted by an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter 30 miles southwest of Fort Greely at Molybdenum Ridge while conducting a site survey training mission. The helicopter, with three aircrew and three passengers onboard, landed in the vicinity of the wreckage and were able to confirm it was the aircraft search crews have been looking for since Monday.

Arrangements were being made to access the crash site today and the NTSB will investigate. No other details were available Wednesday night. Next of kin has been notified.

Art and Ann Ward's Sunday morning flight in their Piper PA-18 Super Cub south of Fairbanks was supposed to take about 3 1/2 hours. 

Art Ward, 64, has been a pilot since he was teenager and had made the flight between his Salcha home and his family's homestead near McCarthy many times, said Judy Stockton, a friend and neighbor of the Wards who is organizing a fundraiser to pay for the searchers' fuel costs.

The Wards left the Sewell airstrip near Harding Lake at 11 a.m. Sunday. Alaska's Rescue Coordination Center was contacted Monday morning.

The search effort included 10 good Samaritan aircraft operated by volunteer pilots and nine airplanes from organizations including the Alaska Air National Guard, the Civil Air Patrol, and the National Park Service, according to a news release from the Alaska Air National Guard. Two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft that were temporarily in the area on Monday also helped.

The Wards are known around Salcha for volunteering with the Salcha Ski Club and hosting events, Stockton said.

"They are absolutely the most giving couple that you could ever meet. They open their home for Christmas and Easter and any holiday. They have big cookouts and invite everybody," she said. "They're not rich people, but they open up their home to everybody."

The couple raised and homeschooled four children in Salcha. Two of their sons are helping with the search.

Their small plane didn't have an emergency locator beacon and didn't make any radio contact with anyone else during the flight. Searchers are flying grid patterns and along possible flight paths in hope of finding the plane.

"He's a typical bush pilot. I was an air traffic controller for 35 years, and he did not ever want to talk to the tower," Stockton said.  "He'd always call me and say 'Can you fly with me up to Fairbanks because I don't like talking to it.'"

For more information about the fundraiser for fuel, go to bit.ly/2KrZl6w.

As of Wednesday afternoon the fundraiser had raised almost $15,000 toward a $50,000 goal.


After a three-day search in the interior of the state, the husband and wife subjects of the search, Arther and Ann Ward, of Salcha, were located in the wreckage of their Piper PA-18 Super Cub that was found crashed 30 miles southwest of Fort Greely on Wednesday afternoon.

The wreckage was located by an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk chopper as it was out conducting a site survey training mission. The chopper touched down near the crash site at Denim Ridge and confirmed the identity of the crashed aircraft and located the remains of the couple who had been missing since Monday.

The Rescue Coordination Center had coordinated a search effort comprised of “nine aircraft from agencies including the Alaska Air National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, National Park Service, Alyeska Pipeline Service and approximately 10 Good Samaritan aircraft operated by volunteer pilots,” Lt.Col Candis Olmstead reported in a release yesterday.

All possible routes the aircraft could have flown on its trip from Salcha to the Ward’s homestead west of McCarthy. The Wards had departed the Sewell airstrip late Sunday morning and were to arrive at their destination late on Sunday afternoon. 

The aircraft was not equipped with an emergency locator beacon and the Wards did not contact anyone while on their ill-fated flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board will access the site on Thursday to initiate their investigation into the cause of the crash.



The National Park Service provided this photo from Art and Ann Ward's refrigerator that shows the plane the two were flying in when they went missing. (From National Park Service)

The two people on board the missing Piper Super Cub has been identified as 63-year-old Art Ward and his wife 59-year-old Ann Ward.

According to the Air National Guard, the couple took off from Salcha Sunday morning and were scheduled to land in McCarthy later that day, but by Monday morning the plane still had not arrived. A family member reported the plane overdue to the Rescue Coordination Center at around 10:40 a.m.

An Air National Guard HC-130 crew continued to search the plane’s intended route on Tuesday. Two National Park Service aircraft, seven planes with the Civil Air patrol, and about five volunteer pilots assisted with the search effort.

According to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park spokesperson Margie Steigerwald, the search area is currently as massive stretch of mountainous terrain between Isabel Pass and McCarthy.

“It's a huge area,” she said. “I couldn't say exactly how many square miles but it takes at least two hours to fly that length so it's quite a big search area.”

The National Guard says all aircraft involved in the search are communicating on the same radiofrequencies to coordinate the search and “deconflict” the air space. But so far no trace of the missing plane has been found.

“We know that the plane does have a personal locator or beacon on board but all the searching planes are listening for that and none have heard anything yet,” Steigerwald said.

The Wards were reportedly travelling to their Homestead west of McCarthy. Art Ward is well known in the community as a pilot and game guide up in the Brooks Range, Steigerwald said.

As the search effort continues, the National Guard is advising pilots to avoid the Wrangell Mountains. Any pilot who wants to join the search should contact the RCC.


Multiple agencies as well as volunteer pilots from the community are searching for an overdue plane that disappeared on the way to McCarthy.

On board was the pilot and his wife; the disappearance of the two prompted family members to contact authorities Monday morning.

According to a news release issued by the Alaska Air National Guard, the two were flying to McCarthy in a Piper PA-18 Super Cub when it went missing.

Multiple agencies working with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center are helping to look for the plane, including Civil Air Patrol, two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft and aircraft from the National Park Service as well as Good Samaritan volunteer pilots.

Those searchers traced the plane's reported flight route on Monday, looking from south of Fairbanks to McCarthy, according to authorities. The search efforts were suspended just after 10 p.m., with plans to begin again early Tuesday.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.ktuu.com

Rescuers with the Air National Guard are searching for an overdue aircraft with two people on board that was headed to McCarthy Monday morning. 

According to Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead with the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the two on board were a pilot and wife who departed from Salcha and was headed to Ultima Thule Lodge, just south of McCarthy. 

A concerned family member called the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center to report the overdue plane, according to a release issued by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. RCC took immediate action by coordinating with state and local agencies, around 10:40 a.m.

Airmen with the National Guard's 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were dispatched to search for the pilot's reported route, south of Fairbanks on Monday evening, but had no luck finding the plane. 

"Four aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol, two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft and aircraft from the National Park Service as well as Good Samaritan volunteer pilots all assisted with the search today and [Monday] evening," the release said. 

Crews are planning to search different routes on and go through valleys that have not been searched yet, Olmstead said.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.ktva.com

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons were dispatched Monday morning in search of an overdue aircraft that was headed to McCarthy.

The 211th RQS HC-130J Combat King II aircraft and crew, including two pararescuemen onboard from the 212th RQS, searched the pilot’s reported route, south of Fairbanks, Monday evening.

A family member’s concerned call to the RCC initiated the search for pilot and wife who were onboard the missing Piper PA-18 Super Cub, triggering the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center’s Search and Rescue capabilities around 10:40 a.m. Monday morning. The RCC took immediate action, coordinating with state and local agencies.

Four aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol, two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft and aircraft from the National Park Service as well as Good Samaritan volunteer pilots all assisted with the search Monday and Monday evening. Aircraft returned to base Monday night after 10 p.m. and a search plan isin place for the search to continue early Tuesday morning.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://alaska-native-news.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This aircraft was located and there were two fatalities.