Friday, September 06, 2019

Piper J3C-65 Cub, N98278: Accident occurred September 02, 2019 in Independence Township, Oakland County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Belleville, Michigan

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Independence, MI
Accident Number: CEN19LA297
Date & Time: 09/02/2019, 1142 CDT
Registration: N98278
Aircraft: Piper J3C
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 2, 2019, about 1140 central daylight time, a Piper J3C float-equipped airplane, N98278, impacted terrain near Independence Charter Township, Michigan. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Versatile Aviation LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which operated without a flight plan. The flight departed Williams Lake about 1045 and flew northeast.

According to preliminary information obtained by the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot reported clear of class delta airspace about 1045 and a frequency change was given. Another pilot reported hearing a distress call.

The airplane impacted a residential area near Walters Lake. Substantial damage was sustained to the fuselage. A post impact fire consumed a majority of the fuselage and wings. The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N98278
Model/Series: J3C 65
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Private Individual
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPTK, 976 ft msl
Observation Time: 1145 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 260°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  42.757222, -83.353333 (est)

We responded to and are investigating a small plane crash in the front yard of a home off of Clarkston Road in Independence Township. The pilot and passenger were taken to an area hospital to attend to their injuries which thankfully appear to be minor. The plane caught fire after the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted.  -Oakland County Sheriff's Office

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, Michigan (WXYZ) — Multiple emergency crews are on scene of a seaplane crash in the yard of a home in Independence Township.

According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, the sea plane crashed in a neighborhood on Greenview Drive near Clarkston Rd. After the crash, the plane caught on fire.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard said that the pilot and the passenger were taken to the hospital but appear to have minor injuries, and no one on the ground was injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted and the sheriff said they will investigate the crash.

Story and video ➤


  1. Another week another float plane.

  2. Dramatic crash for a small Cub ?

  3. One of my fears is being trapped, uninjured, in a accident like this. Many survive the crash but die a horrible death in the fire afterwards. Glad these guys got out.

  4. This pilot did a great job of landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface. Great job, guys, and we are glad you are still here to tell the stories!!! It is so cool to live in a country where the middle class can do really cool stuff and not be overly controlled by government or paranoia. Each one of us thats reading this in the USA can look around his/her home, garage, or yard and see the freedom to experiment, fix, fly, play with, build, or cruise... a cool toy, or sport, or vehicle. I love this country!!