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On July 23, 1995, a helicopter pilot landed at an accident site located approximately thirty miles southeast of Coldfoot, Alaska, and confirmed that the wreckage spotted was that of N81725, a wheel equipped Champion 7AC airplane, registered to and operated by the accident pilot at the time of the accident. According to information obtained from the family during a telephone conversation on January 12, 1996, the flight departed Chena Marina Airstrip, Fairbanks, Alaska on June 11, 1988, at 0630 Alaska daylight time and the destination was a cabin site on Chandalar Lake located approximately 188 nautical miles north of Fairbanks. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed at Fairbanks. Meteorological conditions at the accident site could not be determined. The flight was operated under 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane was destroyed by postimpact fire and the private certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured.
DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, who visited the site, the airplane was subjected to a postimpact fire. The left wing was undamaged and the right wing showed extensive impact damage. The cabin section was rolled onto its left side. The fuselage was bent behind the cabin section and the rear portion of the fuselage and empennage were bent toward the left side of the airplane. The empennage was also rolled onto its left side but not as far as the cabin section. The right wing was resting with the wing root near the fuselage and the span aligned forward of the main wreckage along the airplane's longitudinal axis. The left wing remained in its proximate correct location. Both wings were separated from their attach points.
Examination of the propeller showed one blade bent rearward at a 90 degree angle and the other blade was bent rearward approximately 20 to 30 degrees. Both blades had leading edge damage and chordwise score marks.
The 35 year old pilot showed a total flight time of 142 hours as of May 22, 1988. His logbook showed that he accumulated 41 hours in the 7AC Champ airplane. His logbook did not show any dual flight instruction in the 7AC Champ.
According to copies of the airplane and engine logbooks, the airplane received an annual inspection on May 18, 1987. At that time the airframe had a total time of 3,593.48 hours. The airplane was equipped with a Continental C-85-12-f engine. Total time of the engine could not be determined.
It could not be determined from the copies of the airplane and engine logbook entries if the airplane was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter.
Meteorological conditions at the accident scene at the time of the accident could not be determined.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
According to the FAA Inspector, the airplane wreckage was located at the 3000 foot level of a canyon. The wreckage came to rest 180 feet below the crest of a ridge. All the major parts of the airplane were located at the wreckage site. The left wing was undamaged except for the damage attributed to the postimpact fire. The right wing showed extensive signs of impact damage. The entire airplane wreckage was involved in the postimpact ground fire. Examination of the flight control system showed that all flight controls were connected with their respective cables with the exception of the up elevator cable. Examination of the up elevator cable by the FAA Inspector showed that the cable had a symmetrical shear across the cable and the cable did not unravel.
No ground scars or ground impact marks were found. No tree strikes or tree damage was located in the area.