Date & Time: Jan 2, 2004 at 1630 LT
Type of aircraft:
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain
Landing (descent or approach)
Galena – Koyukuk
United States of America
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
The Title 14, CFR Part 135 cargo flight departed for a destination airport about 20 miles downriver. Although weather at the departure airport was VFR, no reports of the actual weather along the route of flight were available. Unable to locate the destination airport due to deteriorating weather conditions, the pilot attempted to return to the departure airport following the river for ground reference. The airplane entered fog and whiteout weather conditions, and collided in-flight with the frozen surface of the river.
The pilot's continued flight into adverse weather conditions, and his failure to maintain clearance from terrain, which resulted in an in-flight collision with terrain. Factors associated with the accident were fog and whiteout weather conditions.