HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On August 9, 1994, at approximately 1700 Alaska daylight time, a float equipped Taylorcraft, BC12-D airplane, N95058, registered to and operated by the pilot, crashed at the 3100 foot elevation in a side valley off Eagle River Valley. The personal flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, departed Fire Lake at 1600 for the purpose of spotting sheep in the Eagle River Valley.
Meteorological conditions in the side valley, the crash site, are not known. However, visual meteorological conditions prevailed in Eagle River Valley. No flight plan was filed but family members were aware of the route of flight. The pilot and the passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by fire.
The accident occurred in a remote mountain valley. Occasionally, hikers frequent the area. There were no hikers on the day of the accident and no witnesses have been located.
INJURIES TO PERSONS
The pilot and the passenger were fatally injured and the cause of death was blunt force trauma.
DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT
The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and post impact fire. The metal tube skeletal structure was bent and twisted and brittle from fire damage.
The 53 year old pilot was the holder of a Commercial Pilot Certificate, number 1702684, with airplane single engine land and sea, and instrument airplane ratings. The certificate was issued on September 12, 1978. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airman Records, the pilot was issued a third class medical certificate on July 17, 1990, and was required to "have available glasses for near vision." The medical certificate was expired for this flight.
No pilot log book was available and is believed to have burned with the airplane wreckage. According to FAA records, as of July 17, 1990, the pilot had a total time of 514 hours.
No aircraft or engine logbooks were located and the family believes the logbooks burned with the airplane wreckage. Therefore, airplane and engine times and inspection times are unknown.
There were no weather reporting facilities in the vicinity of the accident site. However, the weather in the area was clear with 50 miles of visibility.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The accident occurred in a valley which adjoins Eagle River Valley at geographic coordinates 61 degrees, 10.5 minutes North; 149 degrees, 01 minutes West. The valley aligns with a Northeast/Southwest magnetic direction. The field elevation of the accident site was 3100 feet above mean sea level (msl). The mountains surrounding the valley measured 5000 feet msl. There was a small gorge in the bottom of the valley. The valley sides fanned out quickly to a width of 1 mile at the elevation of the accident site. The slope on which the airplane crashed was a descending slope to the Southwest at 17 degrees. The upslope of the valley, toward the glacier, was 11.5 degrees.
Examination of the surrounding terrain showed numerous game trails and an estimated 25 sheep were located on the North side of the valley, across the gorge from the airplane wreckage.
The airplane wreckage came to rest on the south side of the gorge in a near vertical position. The airplane's heading was 156 degrees. Flight control continuity was established to all the flight control surfaces. The engine was pushed into the cockpit and displaced the left seat (pilot) occupant. The right seat occupant remained in the seat with a portion of the engine compromising the right side of the cockpit. The instrument panel was destroyed. The engine controls, throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat, were full forward. The magnetos were burned away and the magneto switch was not located.
The airplane's descent angle was 90 degrees and it impacted the 17 degree downslope in a 70 to 75 degree nose low attitude. There was no rotation of the airplane at the time of impact. The top of the airplane was facing upslope.
The post impact fire consumed most of the fabric on the airplane except for the outer 1/2 of the left wing, the outer 1/2 of the left stabilizer and elevator, and the entire right stabilizer and elevator. The majority of charred debris and burned area was in the vicinity of the left side of the cockpit and a 4 foot square area to the left of the cockpit.
The pilot offered to take the passenger sheep spotting. The passenger was planning to go hunting in the Eagle River Valley area.
The autopsy was accomplished by Michael T. Propst, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, State of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska.
Toxicological samples were sent to the FAA laboratory and no results have been returned. Discussion with Dr. Propst showed that the initial toxicological screen was negative.