Saturday, August 6, 2016

De Havilland DHC 2 MK III Turbo-Beaver, N30CC -and- Cessna 210-5, Flying High, LLC, N1839Z: Accident occurred August 05, 2016 at Wasilla Airport (PAWS), Alaska

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: ANC16LA052B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2016 in Wasilla, AK
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND DHC 2, registration: N30CC
Injuries: 2 Minor, 2 Uninjured.

NTSB Identification: ANC16LA052A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2016 in Wasilla, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA 210-5, registration: N1839Z
Injuries: 2 Minor, 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 have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 5, 2016, about 1340 Alaska daylight time (AKD), a Cessna 210-5 airplane, N1839Z, and a turbine-powered, wheel/ski-equipped, de Havilland DHC-2T (Beaver) airplane, N30CC, collided midair while landing at the Wasilla Airport, Wasilla, Alaska. The Cessna 210-5 was registered to Flying High, LLC, Eagle River, Alaska, and operated as visual flight rules (VFR) instructional flight. The de Havilland DHC-2T was registered to a private individual in Fairbanks, Alaska, and operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight. Both airplanes were operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, when the accident occurred. The certificated flight instructor (CFI) in the right seat, and the student pilot in the left seat of the Cessna 210-5, sustained minor injuries. The commercial pilot in the left seat, and the sole passenger in the right seat of the de Havilland DHC-2T, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident. The Cessna 210-5 departed Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, about 1230 destined for the Wasilla Airport, with no flight plan on file. The de Havilland DHC-2T departed Leisurewood Airstrip, Wasilla, about 1335 destined for the Wasilla Airport, with no flight plan on file.

During an on-scene interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 5, the CFI of the Cessna stated that he and the student pilot departed from the Merrill Field Airport to conduct basic instrument flight training before proceeding to the Wasilla Airport to practice landings. He said that after arriving at the Wasilla Airport the student pilot completed three successful stop-and-go landings on runway 4, while using the published right traffic pattern. He added that they were using the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) of 122.80 to announce their position and intentions throughout the series of stop-and-go landings. The CFI stated that during the accident landing, just as the student pilot began her landing flare, there was a sudden loud noise, and the airplane abruptly nosed down. The airplane's nose subsequently impacted the runway.

The Cessna sustained substantial damage to the empennage and the fuselage.

During an on-scene interview with the NTSB IIC on August 5, the pilot of the de Havilland DHC-2T stated that he and his passenger were en route to the Wasilla Airport to get fuel before continuing on to Healy, Alaska. He stated that after departing from the Leisurewood Airstrip, he conducted a long straight in final approach for a landing on runway 4. He further stated that while on final approach, about 20 feet above the runway, the Cessna overtook the de Havilland from directly above, impacting the propeller. Following the impact with the Cessna, he continued the approach and landed on runway 4. The airplane subsequently departed the left side of the runway and came to rest in about 5-foot-high vegetation on sloping terrain. The pilot stated that he utilized the CTAF of 122.80 prior to and entering the straight in final for runway 4 at the Wasilla Airport.

The de Havilland sustained substantial damage to the right wing.

The pilots of both airplanes stated that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframes or engines that would have precluded normal operation.

CTAF recordings from the Wasilla Airport were requested. Radar data for the two airplanes was requested from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The closest official weather observation station is located at the Wasilla Airport. At 1336, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting, in part: wind calm; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, overcast clouds at 6,000 feet; temperature 61 degrees F; dew point 55 degrees F; altimeter 30.02 inHg.

WASILLA — Two single-engine planes collided while landing on the same runway at Wasilla Airport Friday afternoon but no one was seriously injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration closed the airport after the accident was reported about 1:30 p.m. The airport was still closed early Friday evening.

There were two people in each of the planes, which sustained substantial damage.

One, a Cessna 210, was operated by a student pilot with a certified flight instructor on board, according to Mike Hodges, an aviation accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.  It wasn't immediately clear where the Cessna had originated from, Hodges said.

The other aircraft was a converted turboprop de Havilland Beaver registered to former Alaska Attorney General Charlie Cole of Fairbanks. A friend of the family said Cole was not flying the plane and not involved in its operation.

The Beaver's door was marked with the logo of Fly Denali, a Denali Park-based flightseeing and climbing support carrier. People near the plane declined to comment Friday as did a staff member at the air carrier's office.

A friend of the Beaver pilot said he took off from his private Wasilla airstrip and was bound for Healy. The plane stopped at the airport for fuel, Hodges said.

Ray Block, owner of Ray's Aircraft Service shop near the runway, said he heard the planes collide with "sort of a scraping sound" loud enough to grab his attention.

"I looked up there and saw two planes on the runway and thought, 'That is not good,' " Block said.

The planes came together, the Cessna atop the Beaver, at the far end of the runway and then slid 600 or 700 feet before the Cessna separated and veered to the right, he said. Other pilots told Block one aircraft was flying the standard right traffic pattern for the runway, the other a left traffic pattern.

The accident marks a third midair collision in the busy airspace over Mat-Su over the past two years, though no deaths have resulted. One collision in June 2015 involved another low-altitude incident just before touchdown at Talkeetna. The other, high over the Knik-Goose Bay Road area in January 2015, severely injured both pilots.

FAA rules say pilots near airports are supposed to use the same radio frequency and pilots also have a responsibility to "see and avoid" other aircraft.

Hodges said Friday he was still trying to confirm "who was saying what and what frequencies were being used at the time" of the Wasilla Airport collision.

Authorities early Friday afternoon issued a warning to pilots about the airport closure but numerous planes could be seen circling low before flying away. At least two planes landed despite the warning and the obvious emergency scene below, that included a Wasilla police SUV with lights flashing, a plane in the middle of the runway and another off to the side.

One came in low over the wreckage, continued to descend around it, and landed on the far end of the same runway before quickly taking off again.

The NTSB will produce a preliminary report on the accident within a week or so. The final investigation may take up to a year.


WASILLA — Four people escaped injury Friday afternoon after two planes collided at the Wasilla Airport. Witnesses said the two planes, a turbine de Havilland Beaver and a Cessna 210, were landing at the time of the collision. Both the Cessna and Beaver had two aboard, witnesses said.

An NTSB investigator was on the scene shortly after the collision, which happened around 2 p.m.

The airport was officially closed, as the investigation and removal of the aircraft progressed.

The Cessna, which came to rest in the middle of the runway, suffered the most damage; its front landing gear had collapsed and much of its tail was torn away. The Beaver sat off the runway with visible damage to its propeller.


WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) No one was seriously injured after a mid-air collision Friday afternoon at the Wasilla Airport. According to Aviation Accident Investigator Mike Hodges with the National Transportation Safety Board, a Cessna 210 airplane and a DeHavilland DHC2 collided mid-air at 1:40 pm on Friday.

The investigation is still in its preliminary stages but Hodges did say both planes suffered "substantial damage." The NTSB will continue to gather information about the collision including radio transmissions and air traffic control data.

Hodges says the collision happened on Runway 4.

A witness tells KTUU that the collision appears to have happened as the Cessna was landing and the DeHavilland DHC2 was taking off. 


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