ANC08LA078
ANC08LA078

On June 24, 2008, about 0945 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Piper PA-18 airplane, N3236P, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power, about 1.5 miles west of the Iliamna Airport, Iliamna, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The private certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from Tularik Creek, about 20 miles west of Iliamna, about 0915, and no flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on June 25, the pilot reported that he departed Tularik Creek and flew eastbound toward Iliamna. He said he had about 6 gallons in the left wing fuel tank, and the right wing fuel tank was nearly empty. As the flight approached Iliamna, the engine began to sputter and lose power. He switched to the right tank, but it ran for only a few seconds, and the engine sputtered. He switched back to the left fuel tank, but the engine continued to sputter, and the airplane lost altitude. He selected a road as a forced landing spot, but was unable to reach the road. The airplane collided with a tree and tundra, about 1.5 miles short of runway 07 at Iliamna. The pilot said that after the collision, the engine was still running, and he shut it down. The airplane received structural damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot indicated that after the accident, the left fuel tank was still showing about 4 gallons in the left wing tank sight gauge.

Recovery personnel reported that they drained about 5 gallons from the left tank during retrieval of the airplane. The airplane and engine was not examined by NTSB or FAA personnel.

At 0953, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at Iliamna was reporting, in part: Wind, 090 degrees (true) at 18 knots, gusts to 24 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, few at 7,500, 11,000 feet scattered; temperature, 50 degrees F; dew point, 39 degrees F; altimeter, 29.81 inHg.

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