NTSB Identification: ANC11LA080
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 16, 2011 in Cape Yakataga, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N4205Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 pilot and one passenger departed from a remote cabin en route to an ocean beach site, reportedly to collect ice from an adjacent glacial river. An Alaska state trooper who discovered the partially submerged wreckage during a routine aerial shoreline patrol said that, when he first saw the airplane, it was about 300 yards offshore, and only a portion of airplane's empennage was above the water. Additionally, he discovered tracks in the soft beach sand left by an airplane that matched the accident airplane and were consistent with a bouncing takeoff run. The tracks ended just short of the riverbank at the departure end of the site. The airplane wreckage was subjected to numerous tide cycles with heavy ocean waves intermixed with large pieces of glacier ice, which pulverized the wreckage. The body of the passenger was discovered in ocean surf 4 days later, but the pilot remains missing. The airplane wreckage was not recovered.

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

A collision into water during initial climb after takeoff for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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