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N6301H accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Salol, MN
48.866096°N, 95.570807°W

Tail number N6301H
Accident date 15 Aug 1993
Aircraft type Piper J-3C-85
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On August 15, 1993, about 1504 hours central daylight time, a 1946 Piper J-3C-85, N6301H, operated by the aircraft co-owner/private pilot, was observed maneuvering at a low altitude before it impacted terrain on the east end of the private airstrip near Salol, Minnesota. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postimpact fire. The pilot and one passenger received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, no flight plan was filed. The flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91, and originated from Salol, Minnesota, exact time unknown.

The pilot's brother/airplane co-owner stated the purpose of the flight was to observe and assess the condition of a wheat field which was being farmed by the passenger. The wheat field was located south-southwest of the grass airstrip where the airplane was based.

The pilot's brother witnessed the accident from a wheat field west of the accident site; his wife observed the accident from their yard, southwest of the accident. The co-owner's wife reported the airplane made a low, wide circle over their house, then flew east-northeast toward the airstrip and wheat field. She estimated the airplane was not more than 100 feet above the ground (AGL) while she watched it. She stated as the airplane moved to the east it descended until it was below tree level. She reported as it reached the east end of the airstrip, the airplane "pulled straight up, yawed and rolled slightly to the right, then snapped over the top to the left and down into the ground." She stated the maneuver reminded her of the agricultural "spray" airplanes she had seen in the area. The pilot's brother concurred with her description.


The pilot held Private pilot certificate #469563445, for airplane single engine land operations, issued April 20, 1978. FAA records indicate he obtained his most recent medical certificate (Third Class, no limitations or restrictions) on August 21, 1990. The medical certificate application was completed May 14, 1990. pilot's total flight time was reported to be 410 hours, including 15 hours in the preceding 6 months. The airplane co-owner estimated the pilot had flown an additional 25 hours since the application date. He estimated the pilot had flown less than two hours within the preceding eight months.


The airplane was originally manufactured in 1946, and was rebuilt in 1977. The pilot and his brother purchased the rebuilt airplane in May, 1978. The most recent maintenance logbook entries were endorsements for an Annual Inspection, which occurred at a Tachometer time of 2,936 hours, and was dated January 11, 1992. The airplane co-owner estimated the airplane had flown 12 hours since the 1992 annual inspection. Discussions with the airplane co-owner and a local mechanic indicate a more recent Annual Inspection was performed in January, 1993. The individuals stated the logbooks were not located in the airplane, and the endorsement was not accomplished. Excerpts from maintenance logbooks are appended.


Witnesses reported the airplane overflew the airstrip on an easterly heading about 15 feet AGL, before it pitched up, pulled slightly to the right, then banked "over the top" to the left and pitched down into the ground. The airplane impacted terrain at a shrub/fenceline on the east edge of the airstrip. Local residents extinguished the ground fire which ensued.

The airplane was removed from the fenceline and transported to the Roseau County Airport for further examination. Postaccident investigation revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. Photographs are appended.


Autopsy examination of the pilot revealed no evidence of preexisiting disease. The autopsy (#A-93-73) was conducted on August 17, 1993, by Drs. L. D. Johnson and D. L. Iverson, at Northland Clinic, 412 N. Main Avenue, P.O. Box 9, Warroad, Minnesota, 56763.

Toxicological examination of the pilot detected 49.800 (ug/ml, ug/g) Salicylate in Urine. FAA Medical personnel stated the presence of Salicylate was indicative of pain reliever use.


A postimpact fire was extinguished by witnesses with hand held extinguishers.


The airplane wreckage was released to the registered co-owner upon completion of the on scene investigation, on August 17, 1993.

(c) 2009-2018 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.