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N660PA accident description

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Tail numberN660PA
Accident dateAugust 11, 1996
Aircraft typeGrumman G21-G
LocationDutch Harbor, AK
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On August 11, 1996, about 1615 Alaska daylight time, an amphibious Grumman G21-G, N660PA, is presumed to have been involved in a fatal accident about 20 miles south of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country on demand passenger flight under Title 14 CFR Part 135 when the accident occurred. The airplane, registered to and operated by Peninsula Airways Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, is presumed to have been destroyed. The certificated airline transport pilot, and the sole passenger are presumed to have received fatal injuries. Low ceilings were reported in the area of departure by the operator. VFR company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated from Anderson Bay, on the Island of Unalaska, about 1610.

The operator reported that the flight was conducted for the purpose of picking up a passenger for transportation to Dutch Harbor. The passenger was a maritime pilot employed to guide vessels through the area. The flight was reported overdue to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and an alert notice (ALNOT) was issued at 2022. A search for the airplane was hampered by low ceilings and fog. The search was suspended by the U.S. Coast Guard on August 15, 1996, at 2050.

The maritime agency that dispatched the passenger indicated the passenger had provided pilot services to the vessel "Tai Ning" from Dutch Harbor to Anderson Bay. The passenger then boarded the accident airplane which was observed to depart Anderson Bay in a northbound direction. A review of the U.S. Coast Guard search mission log revealed that occupants of a camp near Volcano Bay (near the mouth of Makushin Bay) reported hearing the accident airplane arrive in the area but not depart.

The closest official weather observation station to the Anderson Bay area is Unalaska, Alaska, which is located about 17 nautical miles north of the bay. Mountainous terrain with elevations up to 2,687 feet mean sea level separates Unalaska from Anderson Bay. At 1554, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) was reporting in part: Wind, 236 degrees magnetic at 10 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition and ceiling, 2,500 feet scattered, 7,000 feet broken; temperature, 53.6 degrees F; dew point, 42.8 degrees F; altimeter, 29.85 inHg; remarks, automated observation without precipitation discriminator, at 1548, rotor clouds west and over station.

At 1614, a METAR was reporting in part: Wind, 236 degrees magnetic at 11 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition and ceiling, 2,500 feet scattered, 7,000 feet broken; temperature, 55.4 degrees F; dew point, 42.8 degrees F; altimeter, 29.85 inHg; remarks, automated observation without precipitation discriminator, at 1548, rotor clouds west and over station. A 1634 METAR did not change.

At 1654, a METAR was reporting in part: Wind, 226 degrees magnetic at 6 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition and ceiling, 2,500 feet scattered, 7,000 feet broken; temperature, 53.6 degrees F; dew point, 42.8 degrees F; altimeter, 29.85 inHg; remarks, automated observation without precipitation discriminator, at 1645, weather lower over station.

The operator submitted a pilot/operator report to the National Transportation Safety Board (form 6120.1/2) and included an automated weather observation system (AWOS) report from Unalaska for August 11, 1996, at 1540. The weather observation, as reported by the operator, stated: "2,500 feet broken, 6,000 overcast; visibility, 10 miles; temperature, 54 degrees; dew point, 44 degrees; wind, 250 degrees at 8 knots; altimeter, 29.86 inHg." The operator also included a weather observation for the Anderson Bay area that was attributed to the vessel from which the passenger departed, prior to the accident. The weather observation stated: "Anderson Bay, 1,500 to 2,000 foot ceiling; visibility, 4 miles; lower at the entrance, 1,000 feet."

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