June 4, 2011, Astoria, Ore., Piper PA-24-250 Comanche


At about 1741 Pacific time, the airplane crashed into an open field, sustaining substantial damage. The student pilot owned and operated the airplane; he was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot was completing a solo, round-robin, cross-country instructional flight.

The student pilot telephoned his CFI during the accident flight, initially reporting a discharging ammeter, then reporting total loss of electrical power. According to the CFI, after circling over the area for at least 45 minutes, during which a series of telephone calls ensued between him and the student, the airplanes landing gear was fully extended.

Subsequently, a witness observed the airplane descending with its nose pointed nearly straight down and rolling about its longitudinal axis. No fire or smoke was trailing from the airplane. The accident site was about one mile south the Runway 31 landing threshold, and 0.4 miles west of the runways extended centerline.


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