Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, N3960M: Accident occurred May 14, 2022 near Enterprise Municipal Airport (8S4), Wallowa County, Oregon

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 Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho
Lycoming Engines; Phoenix, Arizona 

Location: Enterprise, Oregon
Accident Number: WPR22LA177
Date and Time: May 14, 2022, 14:30 Local
Registration: N3960M
Aircraft: Piper PA-12
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 14, 2022, about 1430 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-12 airplane, N3960M, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Enterprise, Oregon. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that shortly after departure from runway 30, about 700 ft above ground level, he noted oil spray on the windshield and entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern with the intent of landing on the departure runway. He reported that he was too high and aborted the landing. He reported that on the second attempt to land on runway 30, the oil spray was worse, and he “flew the plane onto the ground” east of the airport. The airplane impacted the ground resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage.

The wreckage was relocated to a secured facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N3960M
Model/Series: PA-12 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: KJSY,4121 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C /6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Enterprise, OR 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.415963,-117.25115

Aircraft windshield became covered in oil on takeoff and made a forced landing. 

Date: 14-MAY-22
Time: 21:30:00Z
Regis#: N3960M
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA12
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

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