These October 2009 accident reports are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, they are intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12-D1. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Skokomish, Wash. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The 51-year-old Sport Pilot had accumulated about 180 hours, with about 140 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. He refueled his airplane in the early afternoon and took off, but did not tell anyone where he was going.
When he did not return by nightfall his family reported him missing. For 10 days authorities searched for the pilot and airplane to no avail. Seven months later the wreckage and the pilot’s remains were found in thick underbrush on a ridge of densely forested hilly terrain approximately 1.3 miles from the departure airport.
There was evidence the airplane had hit the trees. The airplane was found on its back in the underbrush. Based on the damage to the aircraft and the trees, investigators determined that the engine was producing power at the time of impact.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from trees while flying over hilly, forested terrain.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: WPR10FA223.