Zone

Crash of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in Bethel

Date & Time: Jul 8, 2019 at 1505 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N9448B
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Nightmute - Bethel
MSN:
208B-0121
YOM:
1988
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Upon landing on runway 01L/19R, the single engine airplane went out of control, veered of runway and came to rest in flames. All six occupants escaped with minor injuries while the aircraft was destroyed by fire.

Crash of a Cessna 207 Skywagon near Bethel: 1 killed

Date & Time: May 30, 2015 at 1130 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N1653U
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bethel - Bethel
MSN:
207-0253
YOM:
1974
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
7175
Captain / Total hours on type:
6600.00
Aircraft flight hours:
28211
Circumstances:
The pilot departed on a postmaintenance test flight during day visual meteorological conditions. According to the operator, the purpose of the flight was to break in six recently installed engine cylinders, and the flight was expected to last 3.5 hours. Recorded automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast data showed that the airplane was operating at altitudes of less than 500 ft mean sea level for the majority of the flight. The data ended about 3 hours after takeoff with the airplane located about 23 miles from the accident site. There were no witnesses to the accident, which occurred in a remote area. When the airplane did not return, the operator reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that the airplane was overdue. Searchers subsequently discovered the fragmented wreckage submerged in a swift moving river, about 40 miles southeast of the departure/destination airport. Postmortem toxicology tests identified 21% carboxyhemoglobin (carbon monoxide) in the pilot's blood. The pilot was a nonsmoker, and nonsmokers normally have no more than 3% carboxyhemoglobin. There was no evidence of postimpact fire; therefore, it is likely that the pilot's elevated carboxyhemoglobin level was from acute exposure to carbon monoxide during the 3 hours of flight time before the accident. As the pilot did not notify air traffic control or the operator's home base of any problems during the flight, it is unlikely that he was aware that there was carbon monoxide present. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure may include headache, malaise, nausea, and dizziness. Carboxyhemoglobin levels between 10% and 20% can result in confusion, impaired judgment, and difficulty concentrating. While it is not possible to determine the exact symptoms the pilot experienced, it is likely that the pilot had symptoms that may have been distracting as well as some degree of impairment in his judgment and concentration. Given the low altitudes at which he was operating the airplane, he had little margin for error. Thus, it is likely that the carbon monoxide exposure adversely affected the pilot's performance and contributed to his failure to maintain clearance from the terrain. According to the operator, the airplane had a "winter heat kit" installed, which modified the airplane's original cabin heat system. The modification incorporated an additional exhaust/heat shroud system designed to provide increased cabin heat during wintertime operations. Review of maintenance records revealed that the modification had not been installed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration field approval procedures. Examination of the recovered wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. Examination of the airplane's right side exhaust/heat exchanger did not reveal any leaks or fractures that would have led to carbon monoxide in the cabin. Because the left side exhaust/heat exchanger was
not recovered, it was not possible to determine whether it was the source of the carbon monoxide.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain altitude, which resulted in collision with the terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment from carbon monoxide exposure in flight. The source of the carbon monoxide could not be determined because the wreckage could not be completely recovered.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan near Kwethluk: 2 killed

Date & Time: Apr 8, 2014 at 1557 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N126AR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bethel - Bethel
MSN:
208B-1004
YOM:
2002
Location:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
593
Captain / Total hours on type:
1.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
14417
Copilot / Total hours on type:
5895
Aircraft flight hours:
11206
Circumstances:
The check airman was conducting the first company training flight for the newly hired second-in-command (SIC). Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data showed that, after departure, the airplane began a series of training maneuvers, consistent with normal operations. About 21 minutes into the flight, when the airplane was about 3,400 ft mean sea level, it began a steep descent and subsequently impacted terrain. An airplane performance study showed that the airplane reached a nose-down pitch of about -40 degrees and that the descent rate reached about 16,000 ft per minute. Numerous previous training flights conducted by the check airman were reviewed using archived ADS-B data and interviews with other pilots. The review revealed that the initial upset occurred during a point in the training when the check airman typically simulated an in-flight emergency and descent. Postaccident examination for the airframe and control surfaces showed that the airplane was configured for cruise flight at the time of the initial upset. Examination of the primary and secondary flight control cables indicated that the cables were all intact at the time of impact. Trim actuator measurements showed an abnormal trailing-edge-up, nose-down configuration on both trim tabs. The two elevator trim actuator measurements were inconsistent with each other, indicating that one of the actuators was likely moved during the wreckage recovery. Based on the supporting data, it is likely that one of the actuators indicated the correct trim tab position at the time of impact. Simulated airplane performance calculations showed that, during a pitch trim excursion, the control forces required to counter an anomaly increases to unmanageable levels unless the appropriate remedial procedures are quickly applied. Given the simulated airplane performance calculations, the trim actuator measurements, and the check airman's known training routine, it is likely that the check airman simulated a pitch trim excursion and that the SIC, who lacked experience in the airplane type, did not appropriately respond to the excursion. The check airman did not take remedial action and initiate the recovery procedure in time to prevent the control forces from becoming unmanageable and to ensure that recovery from the associated dive was possible.
Probable cause:
The check airman's delayed remedial action and initiation of a recovery procedure after a simulated pitch trim excursion, which resulted in a loss of airplane control.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 207A Stationair 7 II in Kwigillingok

Date & Time: Nov 7, 2011 at 1830 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N6314H
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Kwigillingok – Bethel
MSN:
207-0478
YOM:
1978
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
5
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1833
Captain / Total hours on type:
349.00
Circumstances:
The pilot departed on a scheduled commuter flight at night from an unlit, rough and uneven snow-covered runway with five passengers and baggage. During the takeoff roll, the airplane bounced twice and became airborne, but it failed to climb. As the airplane neared the departure end of the runway, it began to veer to the left, and the pilot applied full right aileron, but the airplane continued to the left as it passed over the runway threshold. The airplane subsequently settled into an area of snow and tundra-covered terrain about 100 yards south of the runway threshold and nosed over. Official sunset on the day of the accident was 48 minutes before the accident, and the end of civil twilight was one minute before the accident. The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Airport/Facility Directory, Alaska Supplement listing for the airport, includes the following notation: "Airport Remarks - Unattended. Night operations prohibited, except rotary wing aircraft. Runway condition not monitored, recommend visual inspection prior to using. Safety areas eroded and soft. Windsock unreliable." A postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Given the lack of mechanical deficiencies with the airplane's engine or flight controls, it is likely the pilot failed to maintain control during the takeoff roll and initial climb after takeoff.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to abort the takeoff when he realized the airplane could not attain sufficient takeoff and climb performance and his improper decision to depart from an airport where night operations were prohibited.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna T207A Turbo Stationair 8 in Nightmute

Date & Time: Sep 2, 2011 at 1335 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N73789
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Tununak - Bethel
MSN:
207-0629
YOM:
1981
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
1670
Captain / Total hours on type:
216.00
Aircraft flight hours:
19562
Circumstances:
On September 2, 2011, about 1335 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 208B airplane, N207DR, and a Cessna 207 airplane, N73789, collided in midair about 9 miles north of Nightmute, Alaska. Both airplanes were being operated as charter flights under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 in visual meteorological conditions when the accident occurred. The Cessna 208B was operated by Grant Aviation Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, and the Cessna 207 was operated by Ryan Air, Anchorage, Alaska. Visual flight rules (VFR) company flight following procedures were in effect for each flight. The sole occupant of the Cessna 208B, an airline transport pilot, sustained fatal injuries. The sole occupant of the Cessna 207, a commercial pilot, was uninjured. The Cessna 208B was destroyed, and the Cessna 207 sustained substantial damage. After the collision, the Cessna 208B descended uncontrolled and impacted tundra-covered terrain, and a postcrash fire consumed most of the wreckage. The Cessna 207’s right wing was damaged during the collision and the subsequent forced landing on tundra-covered terrain. Both airplanes were based at the Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska, and were returning to Bethel at the time of the collision. The Cessna 208B departed from the Toksook Bay Airport, Toksook Bay, Alaska, about 1325, and the Cessna 207 departed from the Tununak Airport, Tununak, Alaska. During separate telephone conversations with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on September 2, the chief pilot for Ryan Air, as well as the director of operations for Grant Aviation, independently reported that both pilots had a close personal relationship. During an initial interview with the NTSB IIC on September 3, in Bethel, the pilot of the Cessna 207 reported that both airplanes departed from the neighboring Alaskan villages about the same time and that both airplanes were en route to Bethel along similar flight routes. She said that, just after takeoff from Tununak, she talked with the pilot of the Cessna 208B on a prearranged, discreet radio frequency, and the two agreed to meet up in-flight for the flight back to Bethel. She said that, while her airplane was in level cruise flight at 1,200 feet above mean sea level (msl), the pilot of the Cessna 208B flew his airplane along the left side of her airplane, and they continued to talk via radio. She said that the pilot of the Cessna 208B then unexpectedly and unannounced climbed his airplane above and over the top of her airplane. She said that she immediately told the pilot of the Cessna 208B that she could not see him and that she was concerned about where he was. She said that the Cessna 208B pilot then said, in part: "Whatever you do, don't pitch up." The next thing she recalled was moments later seeing the wings and cockpit of the descending Cessna 208B pass by the right the side of her airplane, which was instantaneously followed by an impact with her airplane’s right wing. The Cessna 207 pilot reported that, after the impact, while she struggled to maintain control of her airplane, she saw the Cessna 208B pass underneath her airplane from right-to-left, and it began a gradual descent, which steepened as the airplane continued to the left and away from her airplane. She said that she told the pilot of the Cessna 208B that she thought she was going to crash.She said that the pilot of the Cessna 208B simply stated, “Me too.” She said that she watched as the Cessna 208B continued to descend, and then it entered a steep, vertical, nose-down descent before it collided with the tundra-covered terrain below. She said that a postcrash fire started instantaneously upon impact. Unable to maintain level cruise flight and with limited roll control, the Cessna 207 pilot selected an area of rolling, tundra-covered terrain as a forced landing site. During touchdown, the airplane’s nosewheel collapsed, and the airplane nosed down. The Cessna 207’s forced landing site was about 2 miles east of the Cessna 208B’s accident site.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan near Nightmute: 1 killed

Date & Time: Sep 2, 2011 at 1335 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N207DR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Toksook Bay - Bethel
MSN:
208B-0859
YOM:
2000
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
3719
Captain / Total hours on type:
875.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8483
Circumstances:
A Cessna 208B and a Cessna 207 collided in flight in daylight visual meteorological conditions. The Cessna 208B and the Cessna 207 were both traveling in an easterly direction. According to the Cessna 207 pilot, the airplanes departed from two neighboring remote Alaskan villages about the same time, and both airplanes were flying along similar flight routes. While en route, the Cessna 207 pilot talked with the Cessna 208B pilot on a prearranged, discreet radio frequency, and the two agreed to meet up in flight for the return to their home airport. The Cessna 207 pilot said that the pilot of the Cessna 208B flew his airplane along the left side of her airplane while she was in level cruise flight at 1,200 feet mean sea level and that they continued to talk via the radio. Then, unexpectedly and unannounced, the pilot of the Cessna 208B maneuvered his airplane above and over the top of her airplane. She said that she immediately told the Cessna 208B pilot that she could not see him and that she was concerned about where he was. She said that the Cessna 208B pilot then said, in part: "Whatever you do, don't pitch up." The next thing she recalled was seeing the wings and cockpit of the descending Cessna 208B pass by the right side of her airplane, which was instantly followed by an impact with her airplane's right wing. She said that after the collision, the Cessna 208B passed underneath her airplane from right-to-left before beginning a gradual descent that steepened as the airplane continued to the left. It then entered a steep, vertical, nose-down descent before colliding with the tundra-covered terrain below followed by a postcrash fire. Unable to maintain level cruise flight, the Cessna 207 pilot selected an area of rolling, tundra-covered terrain as a forced landing site. An examination of both airplanes revealed impact signatures consistent with the Cessna 208B's vertical stabilizer impacting the Cessna 207's right wing. A portion of crushed and distorted wreckage, identified as part of the Cessna 208B's vertical stabilizer assembly, was found embedded in the Cessna 207's right wing. The Cessna 208B's severed vertical stabilizer and rudder were found about 1,000 feet west of the Cessna 208B's crash site.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance while performing an unexpected and unannounced abrupt maneuver, resulting in a midair collision between the two airplanes.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 207A Skywagon in Tuluksak

Date & Time: Sep 3, 2010 at 1830 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N9942M
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Tuluksak - Bethel
MSN:
207-0756
YOM:
1983
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
4545
Captain / Total hours on type:
245.00
Aircraft flight hours:
29550
Circumstances:
Shortly after take off from runway 20, aircraft hit tree tops, stalled and crashed in a wooded area near the airport. Both passenger were slightly injured while the pilot was seriously injured. Aircraft was damaged beyond repair. The director of operations for the operator stated that soft field conditions and standing water on the runway slowed the airplane during the takeoff roll. The airplane did not lift off in time to clear trees at the end of the runway and sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage when it collided with the trees. The pilot reported that he used partial power at the beginning of the takeoff roll to avoid hitting standing water on the runway with full power. After passing most of the water, he applied full power, but the airplane did not accelerate like he thought it would. He recalled the airplane being in a nose-high attitude and the main wheels bouncing several times before the airplane impacted the trees at the end of the runway.
Probable cause:
The pilot's delayed application of full power during a soft/wet field takeoff, resulting in a collision with trees during takeoff.
Final Report:

Crash of a Noorduyn Norseman IV in Akiachak

Date & Time: Jul 11, 2009 at 1300 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N225BL
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Bethel – Tuluksak
MSN:
542
YOM:
1944
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
8500
Captain / Total hours on type:
100.00
Aircraft flight hours:
15729
Circumstances:
The airline transport pilot was on a Title 14, CFR Part 135 passenger flight. The pilot said during cruise flight he heard a loud bang, and the engine started running rough. He said he diverted to the nearest airport, but the engine quit completely, and he was unable to reach the runway. The airplane subsequently collided with terrain, sustaining substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. An examination of the engine revealed that a locking screw had backed out of one of the anti-vibration counterweights on the crankshaft, scoring the interior back surface of the engine case. The unsecured counterweight then moved from its position in the crankshaft, and was likely struck by the engine's master rod, which shattered the weight, and liberated it from its normal location. The liberated counterweight was struck by internal moving parts, creating several component failures, and ultimately an engine seizure.
Probable cause:
The loss of engine power due to the failure of a crankshaft component, resulting in an off airport landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in Bethel

Date & Time: Dec 18, 2007 at 0856 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N5187B
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Bethel - Hooper Bay - Scammon Bay
MSN:
208B-0270
YOM:
1991
Flight number:
CIR218
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
4054
Captain / Total hours on type:
190.00
Aircraft flight hours:
12204
Circumstances:
About 0800, the commercial pilot did a preflight inspection of the accident airplane, in preparation for a cargo flight. Dark night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed. He indicated that the weather conditions were clear and cold, and frost was on the airplane. He said the frost was not bonded to the skin of the airplane, and he was able to use a broom to clean off the frost, resulting in a clean wing and tail surface. He reported that no deicing fluid was applied. After takeoff, he retracted the flaps to about 5 degrees at 110 knots of airspeed. The airplane then rolled to the right about three times in a manner he described as a wave, or vortex-like movement. He applied left aileron and lowered the flaps to 20 degrees, but the roll to the right was more severe. The pilot said the engine power was "good." He then noticed that the airplane was descending toward the ground, so he attempted to put the flaps completely down. His next memory was being outside the airplane after it collided with the ground. The airplane's information manual contains several pages of limitations and warnings about departing with even small amounts of frost, ice, snow, or slush on the airplane, as it adversely affects the airplane's flight characteristics. The manufacturer requires a visual or tactile inspection of the wings, and horizontal stabilizer to ensure they are free of ice or frost if the outside air temperature is below 10 degrees C, (50 degrees F), and notes that a heated hangar or approved deicing fluids should be used to remove ice, snow and frost accumulations. The weather conditions included clear skies, and a temperature of -11 degrees F. Post accident examination of the airplane revealed no observed mechanical malfunction. An examination of the engine revealed internal over-temperature damage, and minor external fire damage consistent with a massive spike of fuel flow at the time of ground impact. Damage to the propeller blades was consistent with high power at the time of ground impact. The rolling/vortex motion of the airplane was consistent with airframe contamination due to frost.
Probable cause:
The pilot's failure to adequately remove frost contamination from the airplane, which resulted in a loss of control and subsequent collision with terrain during an emergency landing after takeoff.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 207 Skywagon in Tuntutuliak

Date & Time: Oct 13, 2006 at 1512 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N7336U
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Bethel - Tuntutuliak
MSN:
207-0405
YOM:
1977
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
5700
Captain / Total hours on type:
1000.00
Aircraft flight hours:
21781
Circumstances:
The commercial certificated pilot was attempting to land on a remote runway during a Title 14, CFR Part 135, cargo flight. The approach end of the runway is located at the edge of a river. During the pilot's fourth attempt to land, the airplane collided with the river embankment, and sustained structural damage. The director of operations for the operator reported that he interviewed several witnesses to the accident. They told him that the weather conditions in the area had been good VFR, but as the pilot was attempting to land, rain and mist moved over the area, reducing the visibility to about 1/4 mile. Within 30 minutes of the accident, the weather conditions were once again VFR. The pilot told an FAA inspector that the weather conditions consisted of a 500 foot ceiling and 2 miles of visibility. The pilot reported that he made 3 passes over the runway before attempting to land. On the last landing approach, while maintaining 80 knots airspeed, the pilot said the nose of the airplane dropped, he applied full power and tried to raise the nose, but the airplane collided with the river bank.
Probable cause:
The pilot's misjudgment of distance/altitude during the landing approach, which resulted in an undershoot and in-flight collision with a river embankment. Factors contributing to the accident were reduced visibility due to rain and mist.
Final Report: