SEA97LA204
SEA97LA204

On September 7, 1997, approximately 1715 mountain daylight time, a Piper J-3, N98833, impacted the terrain while maneuvering in the vicinity of a horse ranch near Jordan, Utah. The individual who was flying the aircraft, who was not a certificated pilot, received fatal injuries, as did his passenger. The aircraft, which was owned and operated by the individual who was at the controls, caught fire upon impact and was destroyed. The personal pleasure flight, which took off from a field near the ranch, had been airborne for about five minutes, and was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed, and there was no report of an ELT.

According to witnesses, the owner of the aircraft had been giving rides to some of the people who had gathered at the ranch for a horse sale. During these rides he had made multiple low-level, high-speed passes, and then pulled up steeply at the conclusion of the pass. During the accident flight, he made a low pass and a steep pull-up, and then appeared to be initiating a turn when the aircraft's nose dropped and it entered a spin. The aircraft did not recover from the spin prior to hitting the ground. After hitting the ground, the aircraft's fuel tank burst, and the wreckage was engulfed in flames.

According to witnesses, the individual flying the aircraft told a number of individuals at the ranch that he did not possess a pilot's certificate. A search of FAA records confirmed this statement.

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