Preliminary NTSB Investigation Underway
The second aircraft accident in a week near Anchorage, AK
claimed the life of the pilot, authorities said, crashing into the
woods near Eklutna at about 3 pm Friday, October 3.
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson
said witnesses described the aircraft flying about 100-200 feet
over the treetops before suddenly plummeting into trees near a
gravel pit along the Alaska Railroad tracks.
The pilot was the only person onboard the Challenger II, a
two-seat single-engine homebuilt kitplane. It was equipped with a
ballistic parachute, but it was not deployed in the incident. A
mechanic came and disarmed the parachute after the crash, Johnson
"It was a very quick event," he said. "Witnesses indicated that
the airplane essentially nose-dived, actually became inverted, and
then went into the trees from there."
Judging from witness accounts, the plane (type shown below) went
down too quickly for any radio communication during the descent,
Johnson said, adding that the pilot had not filed a flight plan,
and the origin and destination of the flight was not yet known.
The Anchorage Daily News said that by Friday evening, Johnson
had started examining the mangled wreckage to determine what went
wrong. There was no post-crash fire.
Although ADN reports indicate the crash took place as stormy
weather was moving in on Anchorage, the weather in Eklutna appears
not to have been a factor, Johnson said.
Make/Model: EXP Description:
Date: 10/03/2008 Time: 2300
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Fatal Mid Air: N Missing:
City: ANCHORAGE State: AK Country:
AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ONE PERSON
ON BOARD WAS
FATALLY INJURED, 26 MILES FROM ANCHORAGE, AK
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 0 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: METAR PANC 032253Z 29003KT 10SM -RA BKN022 OVC050
Activity: Unknown Phase:
Unknown Operation: OTHER
FAA FSDO: ANCHORAGE, AK
Entry date: 10/06/2008