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On April 29, 1993, at 0830 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Piper PA 18 airplane, N2578P, collided with the mountainous terrain approximately 28 miles southwest of Delta Junction, Alaska. The private pilot was fatally injured, the passenger seriously injured, and the airplane destroyed on impact. The local business flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, departed Delta Junction at 0700. Visual meteorological conditions existed, and no flight plan was filed.
The purpose of the flight was reportedly to look for bear hunting areas. The pilot and passenger are both registered hunting guides. The wreckage was found at the 4500 foot level of a mountainside, about 200 feet lower than, and 500 yards from, the mountaintop. The crash site was on a slope approximately 25 to 30 degrees.
The passenger stated that they had been flying toward the mountaintop when the airplane's wings rocked up and down several times then the airplane stalled and hit the ground.
Forty four year old Fredrick Malcom Wolfe was the pilot in command at the time of the accident. He was the holder of a FAA Private Pilot Certificate and was last issued an FAA Airman Medical Certificate, a Third Class, on November 3, 1992, with a limitation that read "Holder shall wear corrective lenses while exercising the privileges of his airman certificate".
Following the accident the pilot's widow, Mrs. Sharon Wolfe, was contacted by telephone. During the conversation she stated the following in part: "We had gotten married only about three weeks before the fatal accident. I am an FAA licensed Private Pilot. I had flown with Fred (the pilot) many times, and considered him a very good pilot. I do not know of any medical problem that he might have had. At the time of the accident he was not on any medication. About two weeks prior to the accident he ask me to listen to his heartbeat. I put my ear on his chest and could hear what seemed to be his heart skipping a beat. He said it was normal, and nothing else was said about it. I have no knowledge of his military medical history. I don't know why he checked on his last application for an FAA medical certificate that he had been rejected from military service for medical reasons."
At the time of the accident the passenger was Robert J. Wener. He is the holder of a FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate.
AIRCRAFT INFORMATION The passenger, Robert Wener, stated that while the aircraft was equipped with dual controls, the rear control stick was not installed at the time of the accident.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
On May 1, 1993, an on scene investigation was conducted by FAA Inspectors Donald S. Lindsey and Robert R. Haxby, FSDO-01, Fairbanks, Alaska. Their statemtn is enclosed with this report.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
On at least one place in the FAA's records for the pilot, his first name was spelled "Frederick". The pilot's widow, Mrs. Sharon Wolfe, stated that as far as she knew his first name had always been spelled as "Fredrick". She further said that they had been married about three weeks prior to the accident.
This narrative was modified on August 18, 2005.