Friday, June 03, 2022

Aeronca 7AC Champion, N1976E: Fatal accident occurred June 02, 2022 in Bowling Green, Pike 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 did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; St. Louis, Missouri

Location: Bowling Green, Missouri
Accident Number: CEN22FA223
Date and Time: June 2, 2022, 17:45 Local 
Registration: N1976E
Aircraft: Aeronca 7AC
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On June 2, 2022, about 1745 central daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC, N1976E, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Bowling Green, Missouri. The two pilots sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the airplane owner, the two pilots were planning to conduct a local flight to practice basic agricultural flight maneuvers. A witness, located in his residence about ½ mile from the accident site, reported he observed the airplane at a low altitude flying from the south to the north. The airplane then executed a right turn to the east. During the turn, the right wing dropped, and the airplane nosed down toward the terrain. The witness lost sight of the airplane behind some trees and located the airplane wreckage in a field adjacent to his residence. The witness stated that he had observed the airplane performing similar flight maneuvers over the nearby fields for the past couple of weeks.

Postaccident examination of the accident site revealed the airplane impacted the terrain in a nose and right-wing low attitude. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, wings, and empennage. The left wing was separated from the fuselage by rescue personnel to facility recovery efforts. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces. The engine remained partially attached to the firewall, and the two-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft. The propeller blades displayed some forward twisting deformation. The airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aeronca 
Registration: N1976E
Model/Series: 7AC
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: KHAE,770 ft msl 
Observation Time: 17:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C /3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Bowling Green, MO
Destination: Bowling Green, MO

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 39.405735,-91.311544 (est)

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances in a field. 

Date: 02-JUN-22
Time: 22:45:00Z
Regis#: N1976E
Aircraft Make: AERONCA
Aircraft Model: 7AC
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 1 fatal 
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

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

Blake Kirwan

Joshua (Josh) L. Filsinger
July 20, 1999 - June 2, 2022

Joshua “Josh” L. Filsinger, 22, of Troy, Missouri, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, June 2, 2022 in Pike County.  He was the youngest child of Melvin and Cathy (Runkles) Filsinger and was born in Lake St. Louis on July 20, 1999. 

Josh was raised in Troy and attended the Troy Holiness School.  He obtained his welding certificate from Otto Filsinger.  Shortly after graduating high school, he met his sweetheart, Melissa Stenborg, and the couple was married on November 7, 2020  at First Free Will Baptist Church in O’Fallon, MO.  When Josh joined the work force, he began working for Brooks Brothers Trailer as a welder in Troy.  He later began working for Air Cover Crop Dusting in Pike County.  Aviation was a big part of his life along with playing his guitar.  He was a good provider and enjoyed working as a grounds person while continuing his education to become an ag pilot.  

Josh was a loving husband, son, brother, grandson, uncle and friend to many.

Surviving are his devoted wife, Melissa Filsinger; his parents Melvin and Cathy Filsinger of Troy; his sisters: Jennifer Filsinger of Troy, Jessica and husband Jacob Goins of Troy.  He is further survived by his grandparents: Otto Gene and Velma Filsinger of Troy and Louis and Jane Runkles of Troy; other relatives and friends.

Visitation scheduled on Thursday, June 9, 2022 from 4-8p.m. and also from 9-10:30a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2022 at the McCoy-Blossom Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1304 Boone St., Troy, MO 63379 (636) 528-8244.

Funeral service on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 10:30a.m. at the McCoy-Blossom Funeral Homes & Crematory, Troy location. Pastor Mike Dankson  and Pastor Cole Branstetter to officiate. Pallbearers to be: Seth Gregory-Jacob Goins-Curtis Schaper-Matthew Schaper-Micajah Goins-Andrew Osterkamp, and honorary pallbearer is Matthew Stenborg. 

Interment to follow in Old Alexandria Cemetery, Troy.

Memorials may be made to the Troy Holiness School, c/o the funeral home.

Family and friends are invited to sign our guest registry at:

Last Thursday, a small plane crashed into a field near Pike 36 off Highway U killing two men onboard.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators arrived early Friday, June 3, to begin searching for answers on what caused the small plan to crash which claimed the lives of Joshua Filsinger, 22, of Troy, Missouri and Blake Kirwan, 23, of Sebastopol, California.

“Curryville FPD was dispatched at 5:51 p.m. to an aircraft down in the area of Pike 36.” Curryville Fire Chief and Pike County Coroner, Colton Marti said in a statement. “While deputies were first on scene giving an initial size up, Bowling Green fire was requested for mutual aid until further details could be obtained. Once responding units began arriving on scene, BG fire was disregarded. The two occupants were pronounced at the scene. The FAA and MSHP was contacted to further investigate the cause of the crash.”

Nearby witnesses said the plane seemed to have engine trouble or that the engine had possible stalled before nose-diving into the field.

According to the FAA’s incident notification, the two men were flying in a 1946 Aeronca 7AC Champion or “Champ”.

Pike County Sheriff, Stephen Korte told the Tribune that the plane is normally stored at the Bowling Green Municipal Airport.

The FAA investigation is still ongoing.

The People’s Tribune will update this story as more information becomes available.


  1. According to local news reports, the two individuals that were killed worked at a crop dusting service. Didn't say whether or not they were AG pilots.

  2. NTSB preliminary is out, they were practicing basic agricultural flight maneuvers and appeared to stall it, no pre impact failures noted (looks like the Piper PA-12 crash from Texas):