On January 8, 1995, about 1030 Alaska standard time, a ski equipped Piper PA-18 airplane, N9264D, registered to and operated by the pilot, experienced a nonmechanical, partial power failure and crashed into trees just after takeoff from Anderson Lake Airstrip located in Wasilla, Alaska. The personal flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, was departing Anderson Lake for a local flight. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The noncertificated Pilot, the sole occupant was not injured and the airplane received substantial damage.

According to the pilot, he had a student pilot certificate but had not flown in some time. He decided to fly because the weather was clear. He drained his fuel tank sumps and after the engine warmed up he made his takeoff. During the initial climb the engine power reduced to idle without any reduction in the throttle. He was forced to land in the trees and the wings were sheared from the aircraft.

According to George Chapman of Mat-Su Air Service, Wasilla, he examined the airplane and was not able to drain any fuel from the gascolator drain. He stated that it was frozen closed. He also indicated that the airplane had not been flown for about 4 months.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman and medical records indicated that the pilot had obtained a student pilot/third class medical certificate on July 31, 1981. No further record of a current pilot and/or medical certificate was found. In the pilot/operator report submitted by the pilot, he indicated that he had accrued 1,860 flight hours.

According to 14 CFR Part 61.87 (m), "No student pilot may operate an aircraft in solo flight unless that student's pilot certificate and logbook have been endorsed for the specific make and model aircraft to be flown by an authorized flight instructor certificated under this part, and the student's logbook has been endorsed, within the 90 days prior to the student operating in solo flight...."

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