Friday, December 20, 2019

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N14365: Fatal accident occurred September 06, 2019 at Ken Jernstedt Airfield (4S2), Hood River County, Oregon

Matt Titus

Ben Davidson

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon
Piper Aircraft Inc; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines, a Division of AVCO Corporation; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hood River, OR
Accident Number: WPR19FA251
Date & Time: 09/06/2019, 1009 PDT
Registration: N14365
Aircraft: Piper PA18
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 6, 2019, at 1009 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-18, N14365, experienced a complete loss of engine power during takeoff from runway 25 and impacted terrain at Ken Jernstedt Airport (4S2), Hood River, Oregon. The airplane was owned by PA-18 LLC., and operated as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The certificated flight instructor (CFI) and private pilot were fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight and no flight plan had been filed.

According to museum personnel, the private pilot needed a biannual flight review (BFR). About 45 minutes before the accident, the CFI and private pilot were observed moving the airplane over toward the T-hangars. Several witnesses around the area, observed the airplane taxiing from the T-hangar area toward runway 25; they did not hear any abnormalities with the engine. The airplane taxied to the active runway, full throttle was added, and the airplane was observed on the takeoff roll and climb out. When the airplane reached about 100 feet above the ground (agl), the engine made two "pops" and then quit. The airplane repositioned from a takeoff attitude to a nose low attitude. One witness observed the ailerons come in with a corresponding turn to the right. The rate of turn increased and the nose dropped before it was lost from sight behind the T-hangars. The witness reported hearing the impact and as he was responding to the accident site, called 911.

First responders reported that the fuel selector valve was found in the OFF position when they arrived onsite. They also noted fuel leaking from the airplane.

The entire airplane came to rest on the northside of runway 25 adjacent to T-hangars, about mid-span of the T-hangar row. The airplane came to rest on a southerly heading facing the runway. The cockpit of the airplane came to rest upright.

A review of security video footage from across the field, showed the airplane in a right descending turn before it impacts the ground.

The airplane was moved to a secure T-hangar for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N14365
Model/Series: PA18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: PA-18 LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hood River, OR (4S2)
Destination: Hood River, OR (4S2) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 45.673889, -121.542222

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email  

Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) volunteers Robin Reid, Ben Davidson, Matthew Titus and Marici Reid at last year’s Fly-In. Davidson and Titus died on September 6th, the result of a plane crash.

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