Saturday, September 21, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-12, N4315M; accident occurred September 15, 2019 in Healy, Alaska

View of damaged fuselage of airplane inverted in water. 

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Healy, AK
Accident Number: GAA19CA551
Date & Time: 09/15/2019, 1215 AKD
Registration: N4315M
Aircraft: Piper PA 12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the float-equipped airplane reported that, during a water takeoff to the east, the wind shifted from the east to the south. The airplane became airborne, aerodynamically stalled, and the left wing impacted the water. The airplane came to rest inverted in the water.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

The pilot reported that the wind was from 115° at 30 knots, gusting to 30 knots.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/30/2010
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/10/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 600 hours (Total, all aircraft), 150 hours (Total, this make and model), 500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4315M
Model/Series: PA 12 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 12-3248
Landing Gear Type:Float; 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/25/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1085.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None  

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PABI, 1277 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 276°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 10000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 16 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.61 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Healy, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fairbanks, AK (FAI)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 1215 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 63.951111, -144.671667 (est)

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