Crash of Piper PA-18-150

Investigation Details

What Happened

​​​This information is preliminary and subject to change. 

NTSB Investigative Update on Sept. 12 airplane accident near St. Mary’s, Alaska:
Release Date: 15 September 2023

The investigative team arrived at the site of the Sept. 12 crash of a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub near St. Mary’s, Alaska to begin the on-scene portion of the investigation. ​​They departed from Nome early this morning and flew to the site via chartered helicopter. 

The team will document the wreckage and collect evidence, including devices that may contain important information about the flight. The wreckage will then be removed, by helicopter, to an offsite facility for further analysis. 

Investigators have also received new information about the sequence of events after speaking to witnesses. According to those interviews, the pilot had returned to the area to transport a load of moose meat from hunters he had flown to the location on an earlier flight. The accident occurred when the airplane was departing. 

A preliminary report will be available within 2-3 weeks from the date of the accident. ​The preliminary report will contain factual information gathered during the initial phase of the investigation. A probable cause of the crash and any contributing factors will come in the final report in 12-24​ months. ​

13 September 2023 

The NTSB is investigating the crash of a Piper PA 18-150 Super Cub that crashed under unknown circumstances near St. Mary’s, Alaska on Sept. 12 at 8:48 PM AKDT. The pilot flew a hunter and the hunter’s equipment to a remote location 64 miles northeast of St. Mary’s. After leaving the hunter, the plane took off to return and appears to have crashed during departure in an area of remote, mountainous terrain. The pilot was the only person on board.

NTSB investigators are responding to the scene now. The team will document the wreckage, collect evidence and interview witnesses. They will also collect any flight and weather data available.


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