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CFRVD accident description

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Tail numberCFRVD
Accident dateAugust 05, 1996
Aircraft typeCessna P206
LocationNome, AK
Additional details: None

NTSB description

History of Flight

On August 5, 1996, approximately 0800 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna P206, CFRVD, was destroyed when it collided with mountainous terrain near Mosquito Pass, about 28 miles northwest of Nome, Alaska. The airline transport pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, was fatally injured. A VFR flight plan had been filed for the flight, which had departed Nome about 0738, with a destination of Shishmaref, Alaska. The flight was to be operated under 14 CFR 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at Nome at the time of the accident. The ELT actuated, and was instrumental in location of the wreckage. Rescue personnel reported that weather was marginal in the vicinity of the crash site at the time a rescue operation was attempted.

The pilot was providing volunteer pilot services to Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (LAMP), a church missionary program, and was en route to Shishmaref and other locations in the vicinity to provide transportation for children and others in camp programs. He had provided similar services in the geographic area for short periods during the previous four years. When he filed his flight plan with Fairbanks AFSS (Automated Flight Service Station) at about 0600, he stated that he would be making a total of four flights, and would close the flight plan within twelve hours. He said he would fly direct to Shishmaref, then to Salmon Lake, Alaska. From Salmon Lake, he would make three round trips to Wales, Alaska, returning through Salmon Lake, and then back to Nome. He would have five hours of fuel, and stated that he would refuel after every two "sorties."

The wreckage was spotted about 1510 by search and rescue personnel, who had been searching in the area of the ELT signal for about 2.5 hours. They described the weather at the scene at the time of their initial arrival to have intermittent rain and drizzle, with the mountain tops totally obscured by clouds.

Personnel Information

The pilot was currently employed as an Air Safety Inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration at the time of the accident.

Meteorological Information

The pilot acquired a complete weather briefing, including forecast for Nome, area forecast, and winds aloft, from Fairbanks AFSS. That briefing, in part, was transcribed by the investigator from AFSS rerecordings, as follows: At the time of his call, the pilot was given the most current weather for Nome, as the 0554 ADT observation of winds 010 knots at 3 knots, 7 miles visibility, 1300 overcast, temperature 7 degrees C, dew point 6 degrees C, with ceiling variable between 1100 and 1500 feet. Shishmaref was winds 230 at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, 3900 feet overcast, temperature 7 C, and dewpoint 4 C. Tin City, Alaska, near Wales, was reporting winds 180 at 9 knots, visibility 10, 800 overcast, 7 C temperature, and 6 C dewpoint. The briefer noted that Tin City was IFR, and VFR was not recommended. An area forecast described scattered, broken, and overcast layers with areas of ceilings below 1000 feet, and visibility under 3 miles. A temporary condition of light isolated moderate mixed icing in clouds and precipitation from 3000 to 15000 feet, with freezing level of 3000 feet, was described. Winds aloft in Nome were light and variable at 3000 feet, and 240 degrees at 7 knots at 6000 feet. Salmon Lake does not have weather reporting capability.

Wreckage and Impact Information

The wreckage was found near the ridgeline of a barren mountain, at about 2500-2800 feet MSL (mean sea level). Ground scars were noted on the eastern slope of the ridgeline, with a wreckage distribution path from those marks to the main wreckage of about due north. The main wreckage was about 40 yards from the apparent point of initial impact, with the cabin area slightly upslope of the left and right wings and tail cone and empennage. The engine was found about fifty feet higher, and about 100 yards away, on a heading of about 320 degrees from the cabin area.

The propeller was separated from the powerplant. The propeller was not seen by the on-scene investigators, who could not locate it due to hazardous terrain considerations. The propeller, however, was seen by rescue personnel when the pilot's remains were recovered. A chunk of propeller blade, about 8-10 inches long, with leading edge impacts, was found near the initial impact point.

The left wing exhibited accordion crushing; the right wing was partially separated inboard of the wing strut. The cabin overhead structure remained with the wing center section and carry-through structure. The tail cone was separated, with the belly skin and aft cabin remaining attached. The right elevator and stabilizer remained essentially attached and intact; the left horizontal stabilizer remained attached, but was bent upward about 50 degrees. The left elevator was separated. The vertical fin and rudder remained essentially intact, with leading edge crushing.

All control surfaces were located and identified. Control continuity could not be established, however, separated control cables exhibited evidence similar to tensile overload.

The vacuum pump was partially disassembled. The vanes remained intact, however the carbon rotor was fractured with two radial cracks through the vane slots and the center hole.

No evidence of a pre-crash mechanical failure was noted.

Medical and Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed by the office of the state medical examiner, Anchorage, Alaska on August 7, 1996. Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA. Toxicological testing was negative.

Additional Data/Information

The airplane had been refueled about 2245 the night before the accident.

The Safety Board did not take custody of the wreckage. According to the insurance adjuster, there was no plan to remove the wreckage from the accident scene.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.