NTSB Identification: SEA02FA063.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 06, 2002 in Silesia, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N4389A
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 non-certificated pilot departed Laurel, Montana, with his passenger at 0746 in the Piper PA-18-150. The wreckage was found shortly after noon the same day and there were no witnesses to the accident. Although the aircraft was extensively damaged by fire, 10-11 foot ground scars indicated a westerly track along the +5 degree up sloped terrain immediately followed by propeller slash marks 14 inches apart placing the aircraft's nose (longitudinal axis) along a west-southwest heading. The distance between the propeller slash marks and the final resting place of the aircraft's engine was 27.5 feet with the aircraft coming to rest with its longitudinal axis along an approximate north/south line (tail north). The leading edge of the left wing displayed aftward compressive damage characteristic of ground impact and the propeller spinner likewise showed aftward compressive damage. The right wing displayed no such damage. Propeller tip fragments were found embedded near the propeller ground slash marks and adjacent to the aircraft's tail. No control discontinuity nor mechanical malfunction was evident during the wreckage examination. A Garmin GPS III on board the aircraft provided 158 data points showing latitude/longitude and time beginning with the departure from Laurel and continuing up to a point coincident with the ground impact site. The track showed a marked left turn during the last moment of flight which terminated at 0807:22.

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

The non-certificated pilot's inadvertent entry into a stall condition at low altitude.

Full narrative available

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