On April 14, 2002, about 0640 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Aeronca 15AC airplane, N1272H, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing on a remote beach, about 10 miles north-northwest of Sitka, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The commercial certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Sitka Rocky Gutierrez airport, about 0622.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on April 14, the pilot reported he departed for Gustavus, Alaska, and was in cruise flight about 4,000 feet msl. The engine suddenly began to lose power, and then quit. He declared an emergency, and made a landing on a beach along the Nakwasina Passage. During the landing roll, the airplane struck a small rise and nosed over. The airplane received damage to the wings and fuselage.

The closest official weather observation station is Sitka, Alaska. At 0640, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: Wind, calm; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, clear; temperature, 36 degrees F; dew point, 33 degrees F; altimeter, 29.42 inHg.

On June 24, 2002, an FAA airworthiness inspector from the Juneau Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) examined the airplane in Sitka, after it was recovered from the accident scene. The inspector reported that the engine carburetor controls (throttle, mixture, and carburetor heat) were attached and operated properly. The carburetor contained fuel without any presence of water. The engine was subsequently started and it produced power. Both engine magnetos operated properly. The engine produced oil pressure and normal oil temperature. The carburetor heat control operated properly.

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