NTSB Identification: ANC89LA175.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39303.
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 26, 1989 in COTTONWOOD CRK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/1991
Aircraft: PIPER PA-12, registration: N3882M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PLT WAS ON A FLT TO AIR DROP A PACKAGE TO SOME FRIENDS ON THE GROUND. FOR BETTER VISIBILITY, HE MADE A LOW PASS IN A DRCTN THAT WAS OVER RISING TERRAIN. AS THE ACFT WAS FLYING ABOUT 40 FT ABOVE THE TREE TOPS AT 50 KTS, THE PASSENGER OPENED THE DOOR TO DROP THE PACKAGE. THE AIRPLANE BEGAN TO BUFFET & THE AIRSPEED DROPPED TO 45 KTS. THE PLT ADVANCED THE THROTTLE, BUT RPRTD THAT THE ENG FALTERED BEFORE INCREASING IN POWER. THE PLT BELIEVED HE WOULD BE UNABLE TO OUT FLY THE RISING TERRAIN. SUBSEQUENTLY, HE REDUCED POWER & LANDED THE ACFT IN ALDER BUSHES, AND IT WAS DAMAGED.

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

IMPROPER INFLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE PILOT'S LOW PASS OVER RISING TERRAIN AND THE AIRCRAFT'S SUBSEQUENT IMPACT WITH ALDER BUSHES (HIGH VEGETATION).

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