Airplane Impacted An Area Of Tundra And Rock-Covered Terrain In A Near Vertical Attitude

Location: Valdez, AK Accident Number: ANC22FA053
Date & Time: July 11, 2022, 17:30 Local Registration: N4340C
Aircraft: Champion 7EC Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On July 11, 2022, about 1730 Alaska standard time, a Champion 7EC airplane, N4340C was destroyed when it was involved in an accident about 20 miles Northeast of Valdez, Alaska. The student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot had departed from the Valdez Airport (VDZ), Valdez, and was returning to a private airstrip in Sutton, Alaska. When the airplane did not arrive in Sutton, family and friends of the missing pilot reported the airplane overdue. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an alert notice on July 11 at 2246. Search personnel from the Civil Air Patrol, Alaska State Troopers, Army National Guard, Alaska Air National Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard, along with several volunteers, were dispatched to conduct an extensive search effort. Poor weather conditions along the anticipated flight route hampered search efforts. No electronic locator transmitter (ELT) signal was detected.

On July 14, about 1530, the airplane wreckage was found by the crew of an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60M helicopter in an area known as Thompson Pass, at an elevation of about 2,560 ft.

The airplane impacted an area of tundra and rock-covered terrain in a near vertical attitude. Two investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Alaska Regional Office, responded to the accident site and examined the airplane wreckage on July 15.

A detailed wreckage examination is pending.