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Student Pilot Fatally Injured In Alaska Accident

NTSB Preliminary Investigation Finds Pilot Owned The Cessna 172

A loss of control accident led to the fatal injury of a student pilot from Wasilla, AK on October 29, according to the NTSB's preliminary report.

According to the report, at about 1445 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N6353E, sustained substantial damage after impacting terrain following a loss of control after takeoff from a remote, gravel-covered site adjacent to the Knik River, about 12 miles southeast of Palmer, Alaska. The sole occupant, the student pilot, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to the student pilot, and was operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Wasilla Airport, at an unknown time.

According to various witnesses near the accident site, they observed the accident airplane flying in the Knik River valley. The witnesses reported that the airplane did a touch-and-go landing on the gravel bar, and just after a southeasterly takeoff, as it climbed to 100 feet above ground level (agl), it turned to the left. During the left turn, the wings of the airplane rolled perpendicular to the ground, and it descended, nose low, before colliding with the gravel-covered site.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

The witnesses reported gusty southeasterly wind conditions at the time of the accident, estimated between 20 and 25 knots.

An NTSB air safety investigator and the Alaska State Troopers traveled to the accident scene on October 29 via helicopter. The NTSB investigator-in-charge and a Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector traveled to the accident scene on October 30 via helicopter. The wreckage was located in an area of flat, gravel-covered terrain north of the Knik River, with heavy vegetation to the north of the wreckage site. The wreckage was recovered and transported to a secure facility for future examination of the airframe and engine.

The closest official weather observation station is located at the Palmer Airport, about 13 miles to the northwest of the accident site. At 1453, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting, and stated in part: Wind 340 degrees (true) at 9 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, few clouds at 6,000 feet, overcast at 8,000 feet; temperature 39 degrees F; dew point 25 degrees F; altimeter 29.72 inHg.

(Image from file. Not accident airplane)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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