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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 196774
Last updated: 5 December 2021
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Time:11:03 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic J3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper J3C-65
Registration: OH-PAD
MSN: 12522
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Lievestuore -   Finland
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Private airstrip Riitakorpi
Destination airport:unk
Investigating agency: AIB Finland
The pilot of the Piper intended to take off for Lapland from the private Riitakorpi landing strip together with the pilot of a Kitfox aircraft. Their plan was to first check the flying weather from the air and then, if they decided to continue the flight, to file a flight plan in the air by radio to Jyväskylä Control Tower. Immediately after take-off the pilots saw that the weather was poor in the direction of their intended route. They decided to abort the flight and return to wait for the weather to improve.
The Kitfox pilot landed first and waited for the Piper to land. During the base turn the Piper’s airspeed decreased and its sink rate increased. The pilot added power and the airspeed grew momentarily. At the end of the base turn the aircraft collided with an approximately 25 m tall tree and, after being airborne for an additional 110 m, crashed into the woods. By now the pilot of the Kitfox was getting worried and decided to drive by car to the fields west of Riitakorpi landing strip to check whether the Piper had made an emergency landing there. After doing that the pilot of the Kitfox called Jyväskylä Control Tower and reported a missing aircraft.

The investigation established that flight operations from Riitakorpi landing strip were challenging even in good conditions. Risk levels grew markedly as a result of strong winds and poor visibility. Following the airspace reform of 2014 Riitakorpi’s traffic pattern remained partially within the area of Jyväskylä Control Zone and close to the busy VFR reporting point TARVA. From the viewpoint of launching a correctly-timed and effective search in the terrain, the instructions for procedures and command responsibilities for the police and the ARCC during aviation accidents were not clear.

The low ceiling and the rapidly approaching rain front from the west were the most likely reasons for the exceptionally tight and short landing pattern. In order to evade the worsening weather conditions the pilot expedited the approach. The excessive weight of the airplane and a tailwind made it more difficult to fly the base leg. Despite increasing engine power the collision avoidance manoeuvre which was done when the Piper first hit the trees rapidly resulted in a high angle of attitude. The airplane went into an asymmetric stall and the low altitude made it impossible to recover the aircraft. No technical issues that could have caused the accident were found during the inspection of the wreckage.

Finnish Aircraft Register

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIB Finland
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of OH-PAD courtesy

Kuopio (EFKU / KUO)
28 June 1977; (c) Juhani Sipilä

Revision history:

19-Jul-2017 17:37 Anon. Added
19-Jul-2017 17:38 harro Updated [Registration, Source]
19-Jul-2017 18:44 Copi Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
19-Jul-2017 18:54 jan_olieslagers Updated [Aircraft type]
19-Jul-2017 20:09 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code]
19-Jul-2017 20:18 Iceman 29 Updated [Time, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
19-Jul-2017 21:10 Anon. Updated [Photo, ]
20-Jul-2017 05:38 Iceman 29 Updated [Departure airport, Source, Embed code]
20-Jul-2017 09:03 Anon. Updated [Source, Embed code]
23-Oct-2017 12:13 penu Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn]
19-May-2018 17:22 harro Updated [Departure airport, Narrative]
19-May-2018 17:24 harro Updated [Time, Embed code]

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