A Friend Went Flying And Found The Airplane In The Middle Of A Cornfield

Location: Adrian, MO Accident Number: CEN21FA380
Date & Time: August 22, 2021, 13:00 Local Registration: N70643
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On August 22, 2021, about 1300 central daylight time, a Piper J3C-65, N70643, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Adrian, Missouri. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot’s wife reported that he took off from their private grass runway about 1300 for a leisure flight. She did not watch him takeoff; nor did she hear anything. She also did not know his destination or when to expect him back. Later that evening she attempted to reach him, but she did not become concerned until dark. She drove their property and the surrounding area but did not find him or the airplane. The next morning a friend went flying and found the airplane in the middle of a cornfield about 300 yards northwest of the private grass runway.

The airplane was mostly whole and was positioned along a heading of about 135°. The airplane came to rest nose down in the dirt with the aft fuselage and empennage extended up into the air. Both wings were bent down at the forward wing spar, and the aft wing attachment points were fracture separated. The wingtips exhibited aft crush damage and came to rest touching the dirt. The engine and firewall were pushed aft and up to the left. The left side of the engine was wedged between the wing spar and the leftwing leading edge. The propeller remained attached at the hub,  and the crankshaft was bent just aft of the attachment flange. Both propeller blades were mostly straight.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov