Cub Survives Crash, Pilot’s Career May Not


Civil fines and a possible court injunction that would prevent future acquisition of a pilot certificate may be sought for 26-year-old Edwin Stoltenberg, who crashed his father’s Super Cub on a sand bar in Alaska last weekend. Stoltenberg may have been at the controls, but he is not a certificated pilot, nor does he hold a valid medical, according to Alaskan NBC affiliate KTUU. The channel reported Thursday that Stoltenberg was denied his medical in August of 2008 because the FAA found he had three convictions for drunken driving and has since acquired a fourth. According to the NTSB preliminary report, witnesses say the young man made several passes on the river, maybe as many as five or six, touching the aircraft’s wheels to the water before contact with a sand bar flipped the aircraft. Although on a river in Alaska, the precise area of the flight was populated at the time with at least one family and two other children who were fishing. After the wreck, one young man approached the inverted aircraft saw Stoltenberg inside and heard his first words, “Don’t call the cops.” But the drama doesn’t end there.

After extracting himself from the aircraft, Stoltenberg reportedly called friends to the site; they used an off-road vehicle to flip the aircraft and tow it to the trees before police arrived. Later on, the young un-certified “pilot” returned to the scene and allegedly flew the aircraft home … which is an excellent testament to Piper, but has different consequences with the FAA and for the NTSB. The FAA is investigating a number of violations represented by the incident and it appears action may also be sought against the young man’s father, if authorities can prove he had any knowledge of his son’s intentions prior to the incident.