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N20GV accident description

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Tail numberN20GV
Accident dateSeptember 13, 2004
Aircraft typeCessna U206F
LocationStanley, ID
Near 44.409722 N, -115.253889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On September 13, 2004, about 1945 mountain daylight time, a Cessna U206F, N20GV, registered to and operated by Stanley Air Taxi, as a 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight, collided with mountainous terrain while maneuvering about 17 nautical miles northwest of Stanley, Idaho. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight departed from Pistol Creek, a private mountain airstrip, as a flight of two aircraft about 1925.

During an interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot of the other aircraft reported that this was a flight of two aircraft that were returning to Stanley after dropping off freight at Pistol Creek. The pilot of the other aircraft reported that the accident pilot was in the lead and radioed after passing Dagger Falls that he wanted to go around to Bear Valley and take a look instead of using the Middle Fork. The accident pilot tried to go through Bear Valley but rejected it due to the weather. The second pilot also tried it but had to reject it too due to weather. The second pilot tried it again 300 feet lower, but rejected it a second time. The second pilot then radioed that he was going back to Dagger Falls to check out the Middle Fork. If it didn't look good he would land at Sulphur Creek. As the second pilot headed north for Dagger Falls, he stated that the accident pilot was off to his left over Ayers Meadows and thought that he would follow. When the second pilot got to the river, he radioed the accident pilot that he was slowing down. The accident pilot responded "I'm at the river, starting up Marsh Crk. It's pretty low in here." The second pilot called back asking if the accident pilot could turn around. The accident pilot responded, "No" followed by "There's fog clear to the ground." There were no further transmissions from the accident pilot. The second pilot continued to Marsh Creek, but encountered "very poor visibility" less than a mile into the valley. The pilot turned around and landed at Sulphur Creek Ranch, a private airstrip, without further incident. (See attached topographic chart for location points described in statement)

An emergency locator signal was picked-up on September 13, 2004, at 2056, and a search of the area was initiated. The wreckage was located on September 14, 2004, at 2030.


At the time of the accident the pilot held a commercial certificate for single-engine land and sea aircraft with an instrument rating. The pilot's flight logbook was not made available for review, however, a representative of Stanley Air Taxi reported that the pilot had accumulated a total flight time of about 15,000 hours.

The pilot held a Class II, Federal Aviation Administration issued medical certificate dated June 15, 2004. A limitation to wear corrective lenses was noted.

A 14 CFR Part 135 flight check was accomplished and passed on July 16, 2004, in a Cessna 206.


At 1951, Stanley Ranger Station (SNT), automated observation, located 17 nautical miles southeast of the accident site reported calm winds and an altimeter setting of 29.94" Hg. Temperature was 7 degrees C, and dewpoint was 2 degrees C. Cloud conditions are not reported.

The other pilot reported during an interview, that the flight encountered low clouds and fog along their route.


The accident site is located at about the 8,700 foot level on the western face of Cape Horn Mountain at 44 degrees 24.35 North latitude, 115 degrees 15.14 West longitude. The summit of Cape Horn is 9,526 feet. The wreckage was positioned in an approximate 30 degrees nose down attitude on approximate 30 degree sloping rocky terrain. The aft end of the fuselage was raised off the ground, with the empennage section bent over to the left side. Trees were located on the uphill side of the wreckage. No evidence of tree impact was noted. No evidence of ground scarring or disturbance was noted around the wreckage.

Both wings remained in place and attached to the fuselage. All flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective hinges.

Minimal damage was noted to the empennage and associated control surfaces. All fixed and movable control surfaces remained attached to their respective positions and the control cables were present and connected at the aft attach points.

The engine remained attached to the firewall. All three propeller blades remained in the propeller hub, but were free to move. All three blades displayed severe leading and trailing edge gouging and chordwise scratches.

The wreckage was removed from the accident site intact via a helicopter long line lift and transported to Bruce Meadows Airstrip. Once on the ground at Bruce Meadows, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, Cessna Aircraft Company, and the Federal Aviation Administration completed the wreckage documentation.

Control continuity was established throughout the system.

The left wing displayed a leading edge aft crushing to the outboard nine feet of the wing. The aft crushing increased on a 45 degree angle to the tip. The lift strut remained attached at the wing and was torn away at the fuselage attachment point.

The right wing displayed impact damage to the wingtip area. The lift strut remained attached at the wing and fuselage points. Access to the flap motor verified that the flaps had been extended approximately 10 degrees.

Propeller blade "A" was loose in the hub and displayed aft bending. Severe leading edge gouging and chordwise striations were noted to the blade back. The blade tip was torn off.

Propeller blade "B" had separated from the hub and displayed severe leading and trailing edge gouging with chordwise striations.

Propeller blade "C" was straight and displayed leading edge gouging. The tip was torn off.

The front end of the Teledyne Continental engine IO-520-F, displayed impact damage and the propeller spinner was crushed aft. Cylinder Number six head was cracked on the left side.

The nose gear was folded aft and the main landing gear remained attached at their respective positions.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by Glen R. Groben, M.D., Valley County Coroner's Office, McCall, Idaho. The pilot's cause of death was reported as: "Blunt force trauma due to an aircraft accident."

Toxicological samples were sent to the Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for analysis. The results of the analysis were reported as negative.


The wreckage was recovered from the accident site on September 16, 2004, by personnel from Discount Salvage, Deer Park, Washington.

The wreckage was released to the owner's representative on September 22, 2004.

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