NTSB Identification: ANC13LA009
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 11, 2012 in Akiachak, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N8466Y
Injuries: 1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 11, 2012, about 1740 Alaska standard time, a Piper PA-18 airplane, N8466Y, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing, following a loss of engine power, near Akiachak, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross country flight under the provisions of Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The certificated private pilot sustained minor injuries. Marginal visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Aniak, Alaska, about 1600, en route to Bethel, Alaska.
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on November 11, the pilot stated that he ran out of fuel. He had attempted to fly from Bethel to Willow earlier in the day, but had turned around due to deteriorating weather conditions. He stopped briefly in Aniak, and departed with approximately 9 gallons of fuel on board. While en route he became concerned about fuel duration, and diverted to Tuluksak where he determined sufficient fuel remained to continue. He had exhausted all the fuel out of the right tank. When the engine lost power, he switched to the left fuel tank and the engine continued to run. While making a left turn towards the nearest airport, all engine power was lost. He applied landing flaps and selected an off airport landing site, but the airplane stalled and collided with terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, lift struts, and fuselage.
During a telephone conversation with NTSB IIC on November 12, an Alaska State Trooper reported while he was in his office, he observed the accident airplane land in Aniak. He walked out to see if the pilot needed assistance, and noted ice on the airframe. He said they had a brief discussion about how to de-ice the airplane and where to purchase fuel. The trooper returned to his office and shortly thereafter was surprised to hear the accident airplane depart. He stated the pilot would not have had sufficient time to de-ice or fuel the airplane before his departure.
The pilot also reported that near Tuluksak, approximately 58 miles Southwest of Aniak, he noticed the airplanes carbon monoxide detector had turned black.
The closest weather reporting facility is Bethel Airport, approximately 17 miles southwest of the accident site. About 7 minutes before the accident, at 1653, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska, reported in part: wind from 020 degrees, at 6 knots, visibility, 9 statute miles; mist; overcast clouds at 600 feet, temperature, 22 degrees F; dew point 21, degrees F; altimeter, 29.93 inHG.
A wreckage exam is pending following recovery.
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