NTSB Identification: ANC08FA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 06, 2008 in Quinhagak, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18, registration: N897SP
Injuries: 1 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.

Two airplanes were flying northbound over an ocean beach at about 100 feet above the ground. The pilot of the second airplane reported that while the accident airplane was flying at his 10 o'clock position, the accident pilot radioed that he saw what he thought was a whale vertebra on the beach and that he was going take a look. The second pilot said that the accident airplane began circling over the site, and during the second 360-degree turn, the right wing stalled and the airplane descended to the ground in a nose-down attitude, colliding with the gravel-covered beach in a near-vertical attitude. A postcrash fire started immediately after impact. At the time of the accident there were strong westerly winds, ranging between 25 and 30 knots. Examination of the airplane did not disclose any preimpact mechanical malfunction.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering at a low altitude in high winds, resulting in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent to the ground. Contributing to the accident were the high winds.

Full narrative available

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