Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Piper J3C-65 Cub, N70643: Fatal accident occurred August 22, 2021 in Adrian, Bates County, Missouri

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 traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri

Flying S Ranch LLC

Location: Adrian, MO 
Accident Number: CEN21FA380
Date & Time: August 22, 2021, 13:00 Local
Registration: N70643
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 22, 2021, about 1300 central daylight time, a Piper J3C-65, N70643, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Adrian, Missouri. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot’s wife reported that he took off from their private grass runway about 1300 for a leisure flight. She did not watch him takeoff; nor did she hear anything. She also did not know his destination or when to expect him back. Later that evening she attempted to reach him, but she did not become concerned until dark. She drove their property and the surrounding area but did not find him or the airplane. The next morning a friend went flying and found the airplane in the middle of a cornfield about 300 yards northwest of the private grass runway.

The airplane was mostly whole and was positioned along a heading of about 135°. The airplane came to rest nose down in the dirt with the aft fuselage and empennage extended up into the air. Both wings were bent down at the forward wing spar, and the aft wing attachment points were fracture separated. The wingtips exhibited aft crush damage and came to rest touching the dirt. The engine and firewall were pushed aft and up to the left. The left side of the engine was wedged between the wing spar and the leftwing leading edge. The propeller remained attached at the hub, and the crankshaft was bent just aft of the attachment flange. Both propeller blades were mostly straight.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N70643
Model/Series: J3C-65 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: KLRY,915 ft msl
Observation Time: 12:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Adrian, MO 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.4343,-94.44294 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Bates County Sheriff's Office -

On 8/23/2021 at approximately 11 am Dispatch was advised of a possible plane that had crashed northwest of Adrian. Deputies along with the Missouri Highway Patrol, Adrian Police, Adrian Fire, Butler Fire and the Bates County EMS arrived in the area. The exact location was unknown but it was believed to have been in the middle of a corn field. Another pilot had observed the plane in the field and landed to help direct emergency responders. A deputy on scene was equipped with a search and rescue drone and immediately deployed the drone to located the plane.  

The plane was located by the drone and the deputy was able to relay responding emergency personnel to the site through the corn.  Additional personnel arrived with UTVs and ATVs to help support the rescue effort. 

The plane had a single occupant who did not survive the crash. The name is currently being withheld until additional family has been notified.  The case is being investigated as a joint investigation with the MSHP, FAA, NTSB, Bates County Sheriff's Office and the Bates County Coroner's Office.  

Our prayers go out to family and friends of the pilot.  No further information will be released until the completion of the investigation.

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