NTSB Identification: ANC89GA055.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38275.
Accident occurred Monday, April 03, 1989 in KOTZEBUE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18, registration: N7085
Injuries: 1 Minor.

: NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

THE PRIVATE PILOT, A STATE FISH AND WILDLIFE PROTECTION OFFICER, CONTINUED VFR INTO IFR CONDITIONS THEN LOST CONTROL AND CRASHED THE AIRPLANE WHILE TRYING TO EXECUTE A 180 DEGREE TURN BACK TO VFR CONDITION. THE CRASH WAS ABOUT TWO HOURS BEFORE SUNSET AND 14 NM FROM HIS HOME BASE FROM WHICH THE PILOT HAD DEPARTED OVER 8 HOURS EARLIER. HIS PVT PILOT CERTIFICATE HAD A LIMITATION PROHIBITING NIGHT FLIGHT. THE AIRPLANE WAS NOT EQUIPPED, & THE PILOT WAS NOT RATED FOR, INSTRUMENT FLIGHT. ALTHOUGH AVAILABLE AT THE POINT OF DEPARTURE AND ENROUTE, NO WX BRIEFING WAS OBTAINED EITHER PRIOR TO OR DURING THE FLIGHT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO IFR CONDITIONS AND FAILED TO MAINTAIN THE ALTITUDE. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO OBTAIN A WEATHER BRIEFING AND THE DETERIORATING WEATHER CONDITIONS WHICH WERE ENCOUNTERED.

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