News center
Our offerings are esteemed both domestically and internationally.

Leisure flight turns fatal for Cub pilot — General Aviation News

Oct 09, 2023

By General Aviation News Staff · August 2, 2023 · 4 Comments

The pilot’s wife reported that he took off from their private grass runway in Adrian, Missouri, about 1 p.m. for a leisure flight in his Piper J-3C Cub. She did not watch him take off; nor did she hear anything. She 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 found the airplane in the middle of a cornfield about 300 yards northwest of the private grass runway. The pilot died in the crash.

There were no witnesses to the accident, and no radar information associated with the flight.

The airplane came to rest mostly intact in a nose-low, tail-high attitude, and was oriented on a heading of about 135°. Both wings were bent down, and the aft wing attachment points were fracture separated. The wingtips exhibited aft crush damage and came to rest touching the dirt. Flight control continuity was established throughout the airframe.

The engine and firewall were pushed aft and up toward the left. The left side of the engine was wedged between the wing spar and the left wing 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. One blade exhibited some chordwise scratching and a slight aft bend about midspan. The other blade was mostly undamaged. The spinner was pushed aft into the hub and was cracked; it did not exhibit rotational damage.

The header fuel tank was empty and crushed. Borescope examination of the tank revealed a crack along its left side. The fuel strainer bowl was removed and was full of automotive fuel. Debris was noted on the bottom of the bowl.

The carburetor was fracture separated from the engine and was covered in dirt. The throttle and mixture controls remained attached. When the throttle lever was manipulated by hand, automotive fuel was ejected from the accelerator pump. The fuel was drained from the carburetor during disassembly, and debris was noted, however, whether the debris was present before the accident or a result of impact could not be determined. The bowl was removed, and minor debris was noted at the bottom of the bowl. The carburetor’s fuel inlet screen was clear of debris.Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and impact with terrain.

NTSB Identification: 103743

To download the final report. Click here. This will trigger a PDF download to your device.

This August 2021 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Probable Cause: