NTSB Identification: ANC13FA090
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 29, 2013 in Sutton, AK
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7ECA, registration: N9624S
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 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.

On August 29, 2013, about 1300 Alaska daylight time, a Champion 7ECA (Citabria) airplane, N9624S, sustained substantial damage following a collision with terrain about 7 miles north of Sutton, Alaska. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to, and operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules personal local flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Wolf Lake Airport, Palmer, Alaska, around 1200.

According to a family member of the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to scout for locations to hunt moose, and the pilot said that they would return later that afternoon.

When the airplane did not return to Wolf Lake, a family member of the passenger reported the airplane overdue to the 11th Air Force’s Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) about 1930. The RCC initiated a search for the missing airplane along its supposed route of flight. In the early morning hours of August 30, an Air National Guard C-130 Hercules was able to locate the wreckage. Rescue personnel aboard a HH-60G helicopter were able to reach the site later that morning, and confirmed the pilot and passenger were deceased.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) along with an additional NTSB investigator reached the accident site on the morning of August 31. The wreckage was located in an area of heavy alder brush, about 250 yards upslope of the floor of an approximately three mile wide mountain valley. The airplane came to rest upright, in a nose-low attitude, and was resting on several toppled and broken trees. The tail was suspended against a tree by the vertical stabilizer. All control surfaces were identified at the accident site, and flight control continuity was verified from all of the flight control surfaces to the cockpit. A detailed wreckage examination is pending, following recovery of the airplane.

The closest weather reporting facility is the Palmer Airport, about 14 miles south of the accident site. At 1353, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting, in part: Wind, 060 degrees (true) at 6 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, overcast at 10,000 feet; temperature, 57 degrees; dew point, 48 degrees; altimeter, 29.73 inches.

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