He Saw The Airplane Strike An Unmarked Tram Cable That Ran Across The River

Location: Chickaloon, AK Accident Number: ANC23FA004
Date & Time: November 10, 2022, 11:40 Local Registration: N7123K
Aircraft: Piper PA-18 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On November 10, 2022, about 1140 Alaska standard time, a Piper PA-18 airplane, N7123K, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Chickaloon, Alaska. The student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a friend of the pilot, the accident airplane and a Cessna 172 airplane were flying together, as a flight of two airplanes, along the Matanuska River. He stated they departed Wolf Lake Airport (4AK6), Palmer, Alaska, about 1100, and both airplanes were returning to 4AK6 when the accident occurred.

The friend reported that, the pilot of the Cessna 172 saw the Piper PA-18 descend and fly at a low altitude along the river. He saw the airplane strike an unmarked tram cable that ran across the river about 30 ft above the partially frozen river. The airplane came to rest inverted in the river. He landed and notified the Alaska State Troopers of the accident.

The aircraft was recovered and transported to a facility for examination. The wings were impact separated, the fuselage was intact and impact damaged. The engine  remained attached to the airframe. The propeller blades remained attached to the engine crankshaft flanges, gouges were present along the leading edge of one of the blades. The windscreen vbar tubing was sheered near the lower attachment point.

The airplane was recovered and retained for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov