Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Piper PA-14 Family Cruiser, N4206H: Accident occurred July 23, 2021 in Anchorage, Alaska

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

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

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

Location: Anchorage, AK
Accident Number: ANC21LA064
Date & Time: July 23, 2021, 15:10 Local 
Registration: N4206H
Aircraft: Piper PA-14
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 23, 2020, about 1510 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped Piper PA-14 airplane, N4206H, sustained substantial damage when it’s rudder structurally failed in flight about 15 miles southeast of Anchorage, Alaska. The commercial pilot was uninjured. The airplane was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight.

The pilot reported that while in level cruise flight, frequent left and right rudder inputs were required to keep the inclinometer centered, similar to a light turbulence encounter. The airplane then began to experience a constant yaw, with elevator adjustments required to maintain level flight. He stated that the oscillation then stopped and a “a very large right rudder input” was required to maintain the course heading.

An initial examination of the rudder revealed that the vertical spar tube separated just above the upper hinge point and the top portion of the rudder folded over the horizontal stabilizer tail brace wires. 

The pilot reported that the rudder was most recently overhauled in 2001. At that time, it was sandblasted, inspected, powder coated, covered and painted. At the time of the accident, the rudder, P/N 40622-07, had about 381 hours since overhaul and 2691 total hours since new.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N4206H
Model/Series: PA-14 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PALH,90 ft msl
Observation Time: 17:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C /11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 6000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Anchorage, AK 
Destination: Anchorage, AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.181371,-149.97211 (est)

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