Crash of a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver in Igiugig

Date & Time: Sep 20, 2018 at 1530 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N121AK
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
121
YOM:
1951
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
12496
Captain / Total hours on type:
5000.00
Circumstances:
The pilot of the float-equipped airplane reported that, during the initial climb after a water takeoff, about 200 feet, he turned right, and the engine lost power. He immediately switched fuel tanks and attempted to restart the engine to no avail. The airplane descended and struck trees, and the right wing impacted terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot reported to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector that, during the initial climb and after the engine lost power, he noticed that the center tank, which was selected for takeoff, was empty. He added that passengers stated that the engine did regain power after switching tanks, but the airplane had already struck trees. The pilot reported as a recommendation to more closely follow checklists.
Probable cause:
The pilot's selection of an empty fuel tank for takeoff, which resulted in fuel starvation and the subsequent total loss of engine power.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver I on Mt Kahiltna: 5 killed

Date & Time: Aug 4, 2018 at 1753 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N323KT
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Talkeetna - Talkeetna
MSN:
1022
YOM:
1957
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Circumstances:
On August 4, 2018, about 1753 Alaska daylight time, a single-engine, DHC-2 Beaver airplane, N323KT, sustained substantial damage during an impact with steep, high altitude, snow-covered terrain about 50 miles northwest of Talkeetna, Alaska, in Denali National Park and Preserve. The airplane was registered to Rust Properties, LLC and operated by Rust's Flying Service Inc, doing business as K2 Aviation as a visual flight rules on-demand commercial air tour flight, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot and four passengers sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated at the Talkeetna Airport (TKA) about 17:05. According to K2 Aviation, the purpose of the flight was to provide the four passengers a one-hour tour flight. This tour was to consist of an aerial tour of multiple glaciers, which included a flyover of the Denali Base Camp located on the Kahiltna Glacier, at 7,200 feet mean sea level (msl), and then return to Talkeetna. According to archived global positioning system (GPS) track data from K2 Aviation's in-flight tracking system, at 1746, as the flight passed over the Denali Base Camp, the airplane initially turns south, and travels down the Kahiltna Glacier. As the flight progressed southbound, it then turns to the left, and towards Talkeetna on a southeasterly heading. As the airplane continues on the southeasterly heading, the track terminates near a knife-edge ridge above the Kahiltna Glacier on Thunder Mountain. At 1753, the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) received the first alert from the accident airplane's 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT). At 1756, K2 Aviation was alerted that the accident airplane's satellite tracking had stopped moving, and lost aircraft procedures were immediately initiated. About 1800, a satellite phone call from the accident pilot was received by personnel at K2 Aviation. The pilot stated that they had impacted a mountain and needed rescue. The call only lasted a couple minutes before the connection was lost. After several attempts, contact was once again made with the accident pilot, and he stated that he was trapped in the wreckage and there were possibly two fatalities. No further information was received before the connection was once again lost. At 2008, the National Park Service (NPS) high altitude rescue helicopter based in Talkeetna, was dispatched to the coordinates transmitted from the accident airplane's 406 MHz ELT. However, due to continuous poor weather conditions in the area, the helicopter crew was not able to reach the accident site. Search and rescue assets from the National Park Service (NPS), the RCC, the Alaska Air National Guard, the Alaska Army National Guard and the U.S. Army joined in the search and rescue mission. On August 6, about 0717, the crew of the NPS's high altitude rescue helicopter located the airplane wreckage in an ice crevasse, at an altitude of about 10,920 ft msl, on a hanging glacier on Thunder Mountain, which is located about 14 miles southwest of the Denali Summit. The airplane was highly fragmented, and the right wing had separated and fallen several hundred feet below the main wreckage. Subsequently, an NPS mountain rescue ranger was able to access the accident site utilizing a technique known as a short-haul, which allows transport of rescue personnel to otherwise inaccessible sites while suspended beneath a helicopter using a long-line. Once on scene, and while still connected to the helicopter, the ranger was able to locate the deceased pilot and three of the passengers in the forward portion of the fuselage, but the fifth occupant was missing. The fuselage was fractured aft of the trailing edge of the wings, and the fuselage was splayed open with blown, packed snow inside. Rapidly deteriorating weather conditions limited the initial on-scene time to about five minutes. On August 10, NPS launched another short-haul site assessment mission. During this mission, the fifth occupant was located in the aft section of the fuselage and was confirmed deceased. According to NPS management personnel, given the unique challenges posed by the steepness of terrain, ice crevasses, avalanche danger, and the instability of the aircraft wreckage, it was determined that recovery of the occupants remains, and retrieval of the aircraft wreckage, exceed an acceptable level of risk and therefore a recovery will not be attempted.
Probable cause:
Loss of control for unknown reasons.

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver in Willow Lake: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jul 18, 2018 at 1900 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N9878R
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Willow Lake - FBI Lake
MSN:
1135
YOM:
1958
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
A float-equipped De Havilland DHC-2 (Beaver) airplane, N9878R, impacted tree-covered terrain following a loss of control during the initial climb from the Willow Seaplane Base, Willow, Alaska. Of the three people on board, the airline transport pilot died at the scene, and the two passengers received serious injuries. The airplane was destroyed by a postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to Laughlin Acquisitions, LLC, and operated by Alaska Skyways, Inc., dba Regal Air, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 visual flight rules on-demand passenger flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight following procedures were in effect. The accident flight originated from the Willow Seaplane Base about 1900 and was destined for a remote, unnamed lake about 61 miles northwest of Willow. The operator reported that the accident flight was chartered by the Alaska Medicaid Travel Office to provide roundtrip transportation for one passenger from her private residence at the remote lake, to the Willow Seaplane Base and return. The operator flew the passenger and her 2.5-year-old son from their home to Willow Seaplane Base on July 16, and the accident flight was the chartered return trip to their residence. On July 19, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) reviewed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) archived automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) track data concerning the accident flight. According to the ADS-B track data, on July 18, the accident airplane departed from the Lake Hood Seaplane Base about 1755 and arrived at the Willow Seaplane Base about 1818. Witnesses reported that after arriving at the Willow Seaplane Base, the pilot loaded the passenger's cargo, which according to a statement provided by the passenger, consisted of multiple bags of masonry mortar, three totes full of food and stores, two propane tanks, and miscellaneous baggage and supplies. Just prior to departure, the passenger was seated in the second row with her son on her lap. As part of their company flight following procedures, Regal Air incorporates Spidertracks, which provides company management personnel with a real-time, moving map display of the airplane's progress. According to archived Spidertracks data provided by Regal Air, the airplane began an initial takeoff run to the south at 1851. Numerous witnesses at Willow Lake stated that the airplane appeared heavy as they watched two takeoff attempts followed by a takeoff on the third run. At least three separate witnesses recorded the takeoff attempts on their mobile phones due to what they perceived as an unusual operation. Each witness stated that the airplane departed to the south and descended out of sight below the tree line. Soon thereafter, a loud airplane impact was heard. At 1900, multiple residents in a neighborhood southeast of Willow Lake heard a loud impact and witnessed smoke rising above the site. A neighbor responded and discovered the passenger walking with her son in her arms, outside of the airplane which was engulfed in flames. The Willow Fire Department and Alaska State Troopers responded. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center received a 406 MHz Emergency Locator Transmitter signal at 1901 and dispatched a HH-60 helicopter to the site. On July 18, immediately after being notified of the accident, the NTSB IIC, along with an aviation safety inspector from the FAA's Anchorage Flight Standards District Office traveled to the site. The airplane wreckage came to rest in a level wooded residential lot in a nose down attitude. The postcrash fire incinerated the fuselage, empennage, floats, and cargo. The airplane was outfitted with Aerocet model 5850 floats and equipped with a Pratt and Whitney R-985 radial engine. The closest official weather observation station to the accident site was located at the Willow Airport, about 1 miles to the northeast. On July 18, 2018, at 1956, the station was reporting, in part: wind variable at 3 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; ceiling and clouds, clear; temperature 72° F; dew point 46° F; altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury.