On October 4, 1993, at 1030 Alaska daylight time, a tundra-tire equipped Piper PA-18 airplane, N82231, operated for hunting/guiding by Tracy J. Vrem, d.b.a. Blue Mountain Hunting Lodge located on the Alaska Peninsula approximately 60 miles south of King Salmon, crashed during takeoff from the lodge's strip. The flight was departing in visual meteorological conditions under 14 CFR Part 91, for business. No flight plan was filed. The guide pilot and his passenger were not injured and the pilot reported the aircraft to be totally destroyed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot told the NTSB that he "pre-flighted" the airplane and rubbed the frost from the wings and tail by passing a rope over and under the wings. He described the takeoff from the 1,250 foot strip as breaking ground at the 700 foot point and beginning to climb out. He said that at about 50 feet the "plane went into a gradual turn to the right" and that he couldn't correct it and "it just fell out of the sky" diving straight down. He said that he had "probably done a better job (roping the frost off) on the left wing than the right, but couldn't believe it was a stall from frost. The pilot told investigators that he had "2,000 hours and would never stall an airplane." The airplane was equipped with 32 inch "racing slick" tundra tires, which were modified automobile tires. The client/passenger in the front seat weighed approximately 260 pounds. The pilot reported that the aircraft was not overloaded.
In a written statement, (see attached NTSB 6120.1/2) the pilot said, in part, "Held cub on ground until it wanted to fly [and] popped flaps [and] began climb-out. Right wing became heavy [and] tried to correct with full left aileron [and had] no response. At an elevation of approximately 25-35 airplane stalled radically. Right wing made contact with ground first, then motor, cartwheeled 360 [degrees]"
The report from the pilot also stated that during the takeoff he occupied the rear seat while the client/passenger occupied the front seat. Investigators noted that the cub is not equipped with a flap lever in the rear seat.
The pilot said that he had major repairs done to the airplane, including the replacement of the entire tail, from a previous crash; over 75 flying hours previously, and that the airplane had been operating normally. He said that the tail section received little damage in the crash.