NTSB Identification: MKC89FA094.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39130.
Accident occurred Friday, April 21, 1989 in ASHLAND, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1990
Aircraft: PIPER J3C, registration: N33066
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 aircraft accident report.

THE PLT AND HIS PASSENGER (WIFE), WHO HAD BEEN SEPARATED FOR SOME TIME, DEPARTED ON A LOCAL FLT FROM WEEPING WATER, NE. ALTHOUGH NOT VERIFIED, THE PURPOSE OF THE FLT WAS BELIEVED TO BE FOR PERSONAL REASONS. LATER, SEVERAL WITNESSES OBSERVEDTHE ACFT FLYING LOW & SLOW OVER THE PLATTE RIVER. A WITNESS NEAR ASHLAND, NE, RPRTD THE ACFT WAS SO LOW THAT THE PLT INITIATED A CLIMB TO CROSS OVER A BRIDGE. WITNESSES LAST SAW THE ACFT FLYING UP THE MEANDERING RIVER (UPSTREAM) AT LOW ALTITUDE. SUBSEQUENTLY, IT WAS FOUND WHERE IT HAD CRASHED IN 3 TO 4 FT OF WATER, ABOUT 30 YDS FROM THE SHORE. THE ACFT CRASHED IN A STEEP NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE, ON A DOWNSTREAM HEADING. THE NOSE OF THE ACFT TOOK THE BRUNT OF THE IMPACT, BUT THERE WAS ALSO DAMAGE TO THE FORWARD COCKPIT, WINGS, WING STRUTS & LANDING GEAR. THE EMPENNAGE & AFT FUSELAGE WERE UNDAMAGED. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT WAS FOUND. TOXICOLOGY CHECKS SHOWED THE PLT HAD A URINE/ALCOHOL LVL OF 0.108% & A BLOOD/ALCOHOL LVL OF 0.058%.

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

POOR JUDGEMENT OF THE PILOT BY FLYING WHILE PHYSICALLY IMPAIRED FROM ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED, WHILE FLYING OVER A MEANDERING RIVER, WHICH RESULTED IN A STALL. A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR WAS THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE ALTITUDE TO RECOVER FROM THE STALL.

Index for Apr1989 | Index of months