HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On January 8, 1983, approximately 1230 Pacific standard time, a Bellanca 14-19-3, N8807R, registered to a private individual, was destroyed after impacting terrain while maneuvering about 15 nautical miles north-northwest of Goldendale, Washington. The aircraft was originally declared missing on January 10, 1983, after failing to arrive at its destination, and subsequently located on August 30, 2005. The certified private pilot and his sole passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which was conducted in accordance with 14 CFR Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed Yakima, Washington, at 1149, with a destination of Long Beach, California.
The aircraft failed to arrive at its destination and was declared missing on January 10, 1983, at which time search and rescue operations commenced. Rescue efforts along the projected route of flight were suspended on January 15, 1983. The aircraft was presumed to have crashed, with fatal injuries to both occupants.
No record of a weather briefing was located. Prior to the aircraft's departure tower personnel at Yakima queried the pilot by radio as to his intended destination. The pilot responded that his destination was Long Beach, California. The tower advised the pilot that SIGMETS (Significant Meteorological Information) for severe turbulence and icing in clouds were in effect along the route of flight, and recommended the pilot contact Seattle Flight Watch for detailed information. There is no record of the pilot contacting Seattle Flight Watch, and subsequent to the departure communications with Yakima tower air traffic control personnel, there was no further contact with N8807R.
On August 30, 2005, a local survey crew came across the airplane wreckage on the Yakima Indian Reservation, located approximately 15 nautical miles north-northwest of Goldendale, Oregon, and 41 nautical miles south-southwest of Yakima, Washington. On August 31, 2005, local law enforcement personnel traveled to the accident. A global positioning system (GPS) revealed that the accident site was at latitude 46 degrees 02.460 minutes North and longitude 120 degrees 50.989 minutes West, at an elevation of 5,437 feet above sea level. The energy path of the debris field extended over an area of 340 feet on a magnetic heading of 138 degrees.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives did not travel to the accident site. Law enforcement personnel provided the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) with a written report and photographs of the accident site. The first impact point was evidenced by damage to the top of a tree grove prior to the main wreckage impact area. Officers noted that the airplane was destroyed, the cockpit was almost unrecognizable, and that the fuel selector was set on the right tank. Two sections of seat were located about 75 feet east of the main wreckage. Photographs revealed that the aircraft's engine had come to rest in an upright position. Both propeller blades exhibited minor damage and remained attached to the propeller flange, while the propeller spinner was crushed but remained attached to the spinner back plate. There was no planned recovery of the aircraft.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate, issued September 28, 1962, with a single-engine rating for airplanes. The pilot's certificate was suspended for 120 days on May 22, 1980. The pilot failed to surrender the certificate and it was subsequently suspended indefinitely. Federal Aviation Administration records in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, indicate that the pilot's most recent third class airman medical certificate was dated December 19, 1980. Family members state a current medical was obtained in December 1982, but no record of this action could be documented.
Bellanca model 14-19-3, serial number 4159, N8807R, was manufactured in 1959. The aircraft wing is of fiberglass-covered wooden construction. No aircraft records or aircraft logbooks were located during the investigation and were presumed to have been with the airplane.
The National Weather Service Office located in Yakima, Washington, issued the following weather reports:
An area forecast, issued at 1140, indicated a series of fronts moving across the Pacific Northwest. The forecast also indicated ceilings below 1,000 feet and visibility below 3 miles in fog. Additionally, the forecast for Oregon and Washington east of the Cascade mountain range revealed thin broken to overcast clouds from 5,000 to 7,000 feet, occasional visibility between 3 and 5 statute miles in light rain and fog, clouds layered to 20,000 feet, and mountains occasionally obscured in clouds and precipitation. The outlook was for marginal visual flight rule conditions.
SIGMET Hotel 2, issued at 1130 on January 8, 1983, valid until 1430 on January 8, 1983: from 60 nautical miles northwest of Quillayute, Washington, to 60 nautical miles north of Glasgow, Montana, to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to 100 nautical miles west of Medford, Oregon, to 60 nautical miles northwest of Quillayute, Washington, indicated occasional severe turbulence below 20,000 feet mean sea level.
The 1050 Yakima Surface Aviation Weather Report indicated scattered clouds at 10,000 feet, scattered clouds at 25,000 feet, visibility 40 statute miles, pressure 1015.1 millibars, temperature 46 degrees F, dew point 34 degree F, wind 290 degrees at 9 knots, and an altimeter setting of 29.09 inches of Mercury. Cumulus clouds all quadrants.
The 1152 Yakima Surface Aviation Weather Report indicated scattered clouds at 4,000 feet, scattered clouds at 10,000 feet, visibility 40 statute miles, pressure 1015.9 millibars, temperature 48 degrees F, dew point 31 degrees F, wind 280 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 24 knots, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of Mercury.
The 1253 Yakima Surface Aviation Weather Report indicated scattered clouds at 4,000 feet, scattered clouds at 10,000 feet, visibility 40 statute miles, pressure 1017.2 millibars, temperature 44 degrees F, dew point 28 degrees F, and an altimeter reading of 30.03 inches of Mercury.
According to line personnel at Yakima, where N8807R was refueled, the pilot stated that he had flown from Winthrop, Washington, to Yakima, after refueling the aircraft with 10 gallons of automotive fuel. Prior to departing Yakima the aircraft was topped off with 43.7 gallons of fuel.