NTSB Identification: ANC02LA069.
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Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 25, 2002 in Kake, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300, registration: N2947N
Injuries: 3 Minor,3 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.

During a scheduled 14 CFR Part 135 commuter flight, an engine cowling latch disengaged in cruise flight, and the upper cowling opened and separated from the airplane. Wind passing over the open engine compartment extracted the engine oil dipstick, and oil siphoned from the dipstick tube covered the airplane's windscreen. The pilot declared an emergency, and was joined in-flight by a U. S. Coast Guard helicopter. The helicopter guided the airplane to a beach for an emergency landing. During the landing, the nose wheel of the airplane sank into the soft sand, and the nose gear collapsed, damaging the airplane's firewall. According to a report issued by the FAA aviation safety inspector, who inspected the accident airplane, the cowling latch receptacles displayed significant wear patterns.

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

The in-flight separation of the upper engine cowling from the airplane. A factor contributing to the accident was the soft, sandy terrain of the landing area.

Full narrative available

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