FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03
NTSB Identification: ANC16LA034
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 19, 2016 in Homer, AK
Aircraft: DE HAVILLAND DHC3, registration: N104BM
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On June 19, 2016, about 1535 Alaska daylight time, a single-engine, turbine-powered, float-equipped de Havilland DHC-3T (Otter) airplane, N104BM, struck an eagle while en route at about 2,500 feet and 10 miles northeast of the Homer-Beluga Lake Seaplane Base (5BL), Homer, Alaska. The two airline transport pilots sustained no injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to a private individual, and operated by Bald Mountain Air Services, Inc., Homer, as a visual flight rules (VFR) flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from 5BL, about 1530.
The operator reported in a written statement submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on June 20, that while on a company training flight, the flight crew observed what they believed to be an eagle immediately before hearing and feeling impact to the left wing, and noted that the leading edge was damaged and deformed. The operator reported that the airplane was flying straight and level, at about 120 miles per hour (mph), at an altitude of about 2,500 feet, and heading northeast at the time of impact. The flight crew notified the Homer Flight Service Station of the bird strike and their intentions to return to 5BL. The operator reported that at this time, the airplane was flying normal with no control issues. However, the first attempt at landing was aborted due to an uncontrollable aileron roll to the left when the airspeed decayed below 75 mph. The flight crew declared an emergency and requested emergency services at 5BL. During the subsequent landing, the flight crew maintained the airspeed above 75 mph until an altitude that was just above the surface of the water. The landing was accomplished without any further control issues.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. Portions of the bird's remains were retrieved from inside the left wing and sent to the Smithsonian Institution Feather Identification Laboratory in Washington, District of Columbia.
The closest official weather observation station is located at the Homer Airport (HOM), Homer, about 10 miles southwest of the accident site. At 1453, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting, and stated in part: Wind 6 knots at 220 degrees; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, scattered clouds at 4,500 feet, overcast clouds at 6,000 feet; temperature, 57 degrees F; dew point 48 degrees F; altimeter 29.92 inHg.