NTSB Identification: ANC04FA056.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 21, 2004 in Cold Bay, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N4319Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 airline transport certificated pilot of the float-equipped airplane took off from a lake, about 7 miles from a lodge en route to an un-named float pond to retrieve a guide and equipment. When the airplane did not return, a co-worker reported it missing. The wreckage was located about 10 miles from the lodge, near the lake where it originally took off. The pilot, guide, and the equipment from the camp were in the airplane. The pilot received serious injuries, and the sole passenger, the guide, received fatal injuries. The accident site was on a rolling, tundra-covered coastal plain, with no trees, and no brush taller than 18 inches. The wings were bent downward symmetrically from the centerline of the fuselage, and touching the ground. The tail was bent 20-30 degrees to the left aft of the cabin. The horizontal stabilizer was parallel to the ground and undamaged. The floats were displaced aft about 24 inches, spread apart, and had impacted the bottom of the wings. The leading edges of both wings were straight with little damage. There were no ground scars indicating forward motion, and dirt spray forward was minimal. Both propeller blades exhibited chord-wise scratching, and leading edge gouging. Postaccident inspection disclosed that the engine's sparkplugs were clean and dry. The engine exhaust manifolds exhibited sharp creases and bending without cracking at the folds. The throttle was full forward, mixture full rich, carburetor heat cold, and the engine primer in and locked. The right wing fuel tank was selected, and fuel was found in both wing tanks, the header tank, and gascolator. The throttle was in the full power position. The magneto selector was in the "both" position. The airplane's flap handle was mechanically captured in the flaps extended position, and the elevator trim was set in the forward (nose down) position. The floats, forward fuselage, and nose-bowl exhibited crush-lines diverging upward 25-35 degrees from the longitudinal axis of the airplane. The inspection disclosed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomalies with the the engine or airframe.

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

A loss of engine power during the final approach to land for an undetermined reason, and the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during the ensuing emergency descent, which resulted in an inadvertent stall. A factor associated with the accident was the stall.

Full narrative available

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