On September 7, 2012, about 1700 Alaska daylight time, a Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N3214D, presumably sustained substantial damage during a forced ditching, following a loss of engine power near Homer, Alaska. The certificated private pilot was not injured. The flight was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal cross-country flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Homer Airport, about 1600. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot stated that he was attempting to land at an off-airport site in a coastal fjord approximately 35 nautical miles east of Homer. During the approach, at approximately 400 feet above ground level, he noticed that "the propeller looked like it was not spinning at the right RPM." He applied carburetor heat, and increased the throttle control, but the engine did not respond. From that point, he was unable to reach the intended landing site, and the airplane impacted water about 20 yards from shore.
The pilot was able to exit the airplane, and he activated his 121.5 MHz Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), but he was not located until September 10, when he was spotted by an overflying airplane. As of February 1, 2009, monitoring of 121.5 MHz ELT analog transmissions by all search and rescue satellites was terminated. On that date, only digital, 406 MHz ELT transmissions could be received by the satellites.
The pilot reported that he attempted to secure the airplane to the shore, but tides and water flow swept the airplane into the fjord toward open water.
The airplane was later recovered by a fishing vessel, but due to the length of time spent in salt water, the engine was not able to be examined.