Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Maule M-6-235 Super Rocket, N56512: Fatal accident occurred June 28, 2019 in Moose Pass, Alaska

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.
Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N56512

Location: Moose Pass, AK
Accident Number: ANC19FA029
Date & Time: 06/28/2019, 1607 AKD
Registration: N56512
Aircraft: Maule M6
Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 28, 2019, about 1607 Alaska daylight time (AKDT), a float-equipped, Maule M-6-235 airplane, N56512, sustained substantial damage following a loss of control and impact with steep, mountainous, tree-covered terrain about seven miles northwest of Moose Pass, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and one pilot-rated passenger seated in the right front seat sustained serious injuries. Marginal visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed an unknown location near Seward, Alaska, about 1529 destined for Lake Hood, Anchorage, Alaska.

At the time of the accident, the pilot was using a Garmin GPSMAP 496 GPS receiver, capable of storing route-of-flight data.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge reviewed the archived GPS data logs for June 28, 2019, revealing that, about 1602 the airplane crossed Moose Pass at a GPS altitude of about 2,000 ft. The airplane continued northwest along the Sterling Highway at various GPS altitudes between 1,700 ft and 2,400 ft. About 1606, after passing the intersection of the Sterling and Seward Highways, a right 180° turn was initiated to the southeast, and shortly thereafter, the airplane began a descent to a GPS altitude of 1,215 ft. At 1607:00, the airplane began a left turn towards a northerly heading and initiated a climb. At 1607:34, the airplane was on a track of 354°, at an altitude of 2,032 ft and a groundspeed of 37 knots. The last fully recorded in-flight data point was at 1608:01, when the airplane was at a GPS altitude of 1,587 ft and 0 knot groundspeed on a track of 282°.

N56512 preliminary GPS ground track. 

According to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (AKRCC), a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal was received at 1614, and rescue personnel from the Air National Guard's 210th Air Rescue Squadron, Anchorage, began a search for the source of the 406 ELT. An Air National Guard HH-60G helicopter crew discovered the accident site, and the sole survivor was subsequently evacuated. The surviving passenger was transported to a medical facility in Anchorage, Alaska for treatment.

The NTSB IIC, along with personnel from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group reached the accident site on June 30. The airplane impacted in a near vertical attitude in an area of alder brush and tundra-covered terrain, at an elevation of about 1,546 ft mean sea level, on a heading of about 314°. All the primary flight control surfaces were identified at the accident site, and flight control continuity was verified from the cockpit in the direct cables and balance cable to the left and right ailerons. Due to impact damage, flight control continuity could not be verified to the rudder and elevators. A detailed wreckage examination is pending following recovery of the airplane.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration weather camera images recorded from Moose Pass (52Z), about 7 miles southeast of the accident site, around the accident time, showed reduced visibilities in all directions as a result of smoke or haze in the area.


June 28, 2019, 1610 AKDT 52Z northwest

52Z northwest clear day image

A witness located near the intersection of the Seward and Sterling Highways stated that he was outside shortly after 1600 when he heard an airplane fly over. He said it sounded like the airplane was flying west to east, and as if it was "maneuvering under power". He stated that this lasted for about 15 seconds before all sound ceased. He said that the smoke from a nearby wildfire was very thick in the valley with a vertical visibility of about 100 ft and an estimated horizontal visibility of about ¼ of a mile.

The closest official weather observation station to the accident site was Seward Airport (PAWD), Seward, AK, located about 30 miles south of the accident site. At 1719, a METAR was reporting, in part, wind 160 degrees at 5 knots; visibility, 7 statute miles, haze; clouds and sky condition, overcast clouds 3,700 ft; temperature, 71°F; dew point 53°F; and an altimeter setting of 30.70 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Maule
Registration: N56512
Model/Series: M6 235
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Christy Michael S
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAWD, 22 ft msl
Observation Time: 1719 AKD
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3700 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.7 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Seward, AK
Destination: Anchorage, AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 62.539444, -149.544167 (est)

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.


Michael Scott Christy 
(1945 - 2019)

Born in Benton Harbor Mich., Michael, known as Scott to friends and family, moved to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1980 to pursue his life's passions of geology, conservation, wildlife and the outdoors. Scott died suddenly near Moose Pass, Alaska, on June 28, 2019.

Scott, 73, and his 69-year-old wife, Jean Tam, are well-known in the conservation and wildlife community in Anchorage. A Celebration of Life for them both is planned for Friday, July 12, 2019, from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., in the Odum Hangar at the Alaska Aviation Museum, with memorial tributes at 6 p.m.
Scott spent his childhood in St. Joseph, Mich., and graduated from Berrien Springs High School in 1964. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in biology in 1968. He attained a master's degree in geology from the University of Missouri in 1976, and a Ph.D. in geo-morphology from the University of Maryland in 1980. He moved to Anchorage in 1980, and was employed to work on the trans-Alaska pipeline. He later worked as a Geologist with the State of Alaska and retired in 2007.

Scott met his soul mate and love of his life while working for the State of Alaska and they married on June 22, 1991. They traveled extensively and made friends around the globe. They were both active with the Alaska Conservation Foundation and Scott was an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska, member of the Alaskan Airman's Association, and was the current President of the Lake Hood Pilot's Association.  Scott is predeceased by his older brother, David Christy; and father, Charles Christy.

He is survived by his mother, Marvel Christy of Stevensville, Mich.; sisters, Cheryl Stacey of Berrien Springs, Mich., Cynthia Weill of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Jane Glass of Benton Harbor, Mich.; brothers Douglas Christy of St. Joseph, and Ronald Christy of Covert, Mich.; and nieces and nephews in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Arizona.  In lieu of flowers, please make memorials to the Alaska Conservation Foundation.

Jean Tam  Christy
(1949 - 2019)

Jean Tam, born on Dec. 27, 1949, age 69 years, passed away suddenly in Moose Pass, Alaska, on June 28, 2019. Born in Detroit, Mich., her parents moved to Birmingham, Mich., in 1953 to take over Rose's Hand Laundry. Jean was of Chinese descent. She was a 1968 graduate of Birmingham Seaholm High School. She graduated from MIT in Boston, Mass., with a degree in physics and obtained a master's degree in forestry from Yale University. She moved to Alaska in 1985, and began working for the State of Alaska Geological Information Service in 1986. One of her accomplishments in this position was the mapping of the Valdez Oil Spill in 1989.

She met her husband, Michael Scott Christy, at work and they were married on June 22, 1991, at a lake resort. The wedding included a llama drawn carriage and a fly off in Scott's float plane. The wedding reception in Anchorage, Alaska, was held at a Chinese restaurant to honor Jean's parents.

As an active naturalist, Jean was the longest serving member of the Board of Directors of the Anchorage Audubon Society, a member of the Alaska Conservation Foundation and the Alaskan Native Plant Society. One of Jean's favorite projects was her famous Loon Cam, viewed by people around the world. She and Scott placed an artificial loon nesting platform in the lake near their home on Memorial Day and retrieved it on Labor Day every year.
Jean and Scott made many trips throughout the world, including a memorable trip to China, Jean's ancestral home. After retirement, Jean served as Scott's co-pilot, making many trips to visit family and friends in the Lower 48. Jean recently traveled to Michigan to attend her 50th high school reunion.

Jean is survived by her younger brother, George Tam of Troy, Mich., and several cousins. She was predeceased by her parents, Wah and Beck Tam; and older brother, Ford Tam.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, July 12, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the Odum Hangar at the Alaska Aviation Museum, with memorial tributes at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Alaska Conservation Foundation.


Joy Cooper and her roommate, Suzanne Glass (on left) right before the Maule M-6-235 Super Rocket aircraft accident. Please pray for Suzanne and family as her and her aunt and uncle did not make it. 


MOOSE PASS, Alaska — A Sterling, Virginia woman was among three killed in an Alaskan plane crash on Friday. The sole survivor was also from Sterling. 

Joy Cooper loves aviation. She's a private pilot, has a degree in air traffic controlling, and works as a supervisor at Dulles International Airport. On Friday, the Sterling woman nearly lost her life in a small plane crash in Alaska. 

Her co-worker has seen her post on Facebook Friday morning.

"Her and her friend were there, there were smiles.and it said, 'so ready to explore the Alaskan wilderness,'" said Shah Waqas, who works with Cooper at Dulles. 

Cooper, 28,  has posted a picture of herself with friend and roommate Suzanne Glass, 29, just before they boarded the float plane. Shortly after that post, the plane went down in heavy fog, crashing along Alaska's Kenai peninsula. The crash killed Glass, the pilot and his wife who were Glass's uncle and aunt. 

Cooper was the only survivor. Her brother Josiah Cooper, 29, said it's amazing she's alive. "I was shocked, especially after hearing more and more details about it. It's a miracle."

Josiah said Joy has 20-some broken bones and a collapsed lung. But it conscious and talking. He set up a Caring Bridge page to help pay for Joy's medical expenses. 

Joy's friend Waqas set up a Go Fund Me account to do the same. 

"She definitely lives by the Bible. She's a loving, caring person to everyone that she comes across. I know it's cliche but she definitely has a smile that can brighten up a room, and I feel like there's no better cause than to help a friend out in a time of need like this," said Waqas. 

The Alaska Department of Public Safety says the bodies of three people killed in a plane accident in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula were recovered from the crash site on Sunday. 

Spokeswoman Megan Peters say the bodies were brought back from a mountain on the north side of Tern Lake near Moose Pass. They are being taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for autopsies.

Peters says the victims have been tentatively identified as pilot Michael Scott Christy, 73, his wife, Jean Tam, 69, both of Anchorage; and passenger Suzanne Glass, 29, of Sterling, Virginia.

The small plane crashed Friday into a mountain on the north side of Tern Lake near Moose Pass, Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain told the Anchorage Daily News.

The survivor, 28-year-old Andrea Joy Cooper of Sterling, Virginia, was on vacation in Alaska with friends when the plane crashed. Cooper suffered multiple broken bones and a partially collapsed lung, but was responsive in the hospital Saturday, her family told the Anchorage Daily News.

Story and video:  https://www.wusa9.com


Joy Cooper 

STERLING, Virginia  (ABC7) — Loved ones set up fundraising pages for Sterling woman who survived Alaska plane crash

"I had seen her post on Facebook about going to Alaska and I saw a small plane behind her and I didn't initially feel too good about the picture," said Waqas Shah.

When the Leesburg resident saw the photo of his friend and co-worker Joy Cooper he worried about her safety. Now he's praying for her recovery.

"She still has a lot of surgeries to go through because of the broken bones. She had a collapsed lung which they were able to stabilize as of now," he said.

28-year old Cooper suffered 13 fractures in the June 28th crash south of Anchorage near Moose Pass, Alaska. Local news agencies identify the three killed as 73-year old Michael Scott Christy and his 69-year-old Wife Jean Tam of Anchorage.

The two were the aunt and uncle of 29-year-old Suzanne Glass of Sterling, Virginia who also died in the crash. Glass and Cooper were roommates.

"I know that the health issues and medical bills are probably going to pile up when she makes it through this. So, I want to do my part and help her," Shah said.

Shah has started a GoFundMe page for his friend, while her family is raising money through a PayPal account.

"Anything that we can do to try to help her lessen the burden of the tough time she's going through. that's what I want to do," he said.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://wjla.com

Three people were killed Friday afternoon and a fourth was severely injured in a plane crash near Moose Pass, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The small plane crashed into a mountain on the north side of Tern Lake, near the junction of the Sterling Highway and the Seward Highway, around 4 p.m. Friday, troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain said Saturday.

Pilot Michael Scott Christy, 73, and his wife, Jean Tam, 69 — both from Anchorage — were killed, along with 29-year-old Suzanne Glass from Sterling, Virginia.

The survivor, 28-year-old Joy Cooper of Paris, Texas, was airlifted to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage in critical condition, troopers said.

Cooper’s family said she was on vacation in Alaska with some friends when the plane crashed. She suffered multiple broken bones and a partially collapsed lung but was responsive in the hospital Saturday, her family said.

The bodies of the passengers who were killed had not yet been recovered Saturday, DeSpain said. A helicopter was dispatched to retrieve them.

“Because of the terrain, and also it’s very smoky there as well, recovery efforts are challenging,” DeSpain said.

Smoke from the nearby Swan Lake wildfire has hampered visibility throughout Southcentral Alaska, and a dense smoke advisory is in effect for the Kenai Peninsula through Sunday morning.

The smoke has reduced visibility in the north Kenai Mountains to generally less than 5 miles, according to the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit.

Clint Johnson, chief for the Alaska region of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the plane was privately owned, but no information was available about what kind of plane it was, its origin or its intended destination.

An NTSB investigator was en route to the crash site Saturday. The agency will be pulling weather data and, ideally, interviewing Cooper and witnesses as it tries to determine the cause of the crash, Johnson said.

The wreckage will be taken to either Anchorage or Wasilla in the coming days, where investigators will be able to examine it more closely, Johnson said.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.adn.com

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