Date & Time: Aug 15, 1935 at 1800 LT
Type of aircraft:
Lockheed 9 Orion
Operator:
Registration:
NR12283
Flight Phase:
Takeoff (climb)
Flight Type:
Private
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Seattle – Fairbanks – Lake Harding – Barrow
MSN:
195
YOM:
1933
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
1
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
1
Other fatalities:
0
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Shortly after take off from lake Walakpi located south of Barrow, while in initial climb to a height of some fifty feet, the aircraft stalled and crashed into the lake. Both occupants were killed.
Crew:
Wiley Post, 37, test pilot by Lockheed.
Passenger:
Will Rogers, 56, actor.
Probable cause:
A study of the effect of the various changes made on the airplane indicated that it was decidedly nose-heavy and must have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to properly control without the aid of the engine. A statement made by the pilot after the change to pontoons confirms this conclusion. The exact cause of the engine failure cannot be determined. The temperature at the time was about 40 degrees Farenheit and the failure could have been due to the engine having become cool while standing on the lagoon or to ice or water condensate forming in the carburetor. It is the opinion of the Accident Board that the probable cause of this accident was loss of control of the aircraft at a low altitude after sudden engine failure, due to the extreme nose-heaviness of the aircraft.