ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44672
Last updated: 19 May 2013
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Narrative:The private certificated pilot of a float-equipped airplane was the second of two, unrelated Piper airplanes that requested a special VFR (SVFR) clearance from a seaplane base within 1 minute of each other, for a local flight over an ocean inlet that was about 2.3 nautical miles wide. The weather conditions at the airport included overcast skies at 400 feet, and a visibility of 2 miles in mist. About 2 minutes after departure, the accident pilot requested to return to the seaplane base, stating in part, "it's really thick out here." No further communication was received from the pilot. The pilot of the first Piper airplane to depart also decided to return, and spotted the tail of the accident Piper protruding from the water about mid-channel of the inlet. The first Piper pilot notified air traffic control (ATC) of the situation, and then landed on the water to render any assistance. The first Piper was not equipped with any position locating equipment, consequently, the accident location was an estimate by the pilot. The accident Piper sank within about 2 minutes, and no survivor was observed. The accident pilot and the airplane have not been found. A witness located on the shore of the inlet saw the accident Piper appear from the base of a fog bank that was over the inlet. The airplane descended out of the fog about 100 feet above the water in a left bank of about 45 degrees, and about 20 degrees nose down. The airplane descended until it collided with the water about mid-channel, impacting the water with the left wing first, and immediately began to sink. Water search efforts were initiated that involved the use of a 2-crew hovercraft, a Coast Guard rigid-hull inflatable boat (RIB), a fire department rescue RIB, a commercial tug, and a volunteer underwater mapping vessel. The use of helicopters was unsuccessful because of low ceilings and low visibility. The search for the accident pilot and airplane was suspended by the fire department about 1.5 hours after the accident. CAUSE: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane due to spatial disorientation, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and collision with water during maneuvering flight. Factors contributing to the accident were fog and low ceilings.
|Operator:||Lee H. Schlosstein|
|C/n / msn:|| 18-7809080|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Anchorage, AK -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||Anchorage, AK (PALH)|
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