Friday, March 03, 2017

Beech G18S, Point to Point Air LLC, N103AF: Accident occurred March 03, 2017 in Metlakatla, Alaska

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration/ Flight Standards District Office; Juneau, Alaska

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Point to Point Air LLC:

NTSB Identification: ANC17LA017
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 03, 2017 in Metlakatla, AK
Aircraft: BEECH G18S, registration: N103AF
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 March 3, 2017, about 0815 Alaska standard time, a twin-engine Beechcraft G18S airplane, N103AF, is presumed to have sustained substantial damage during impact with ocean waters about two miles southwest of Metlakatla, Alaska following a total loss of engine power in the right engine. The airline transport pilot and airline transport pilot certificated passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to Point to Point Air, LLC and operated by the pilot as an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, when the accident occurred. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed for the route of flight. An instrument flight plan was filed and activated. The flight departed the Klawock Airport (PAKW), Alaska, at 0734, destined for Ketchikan International Airport (PAKT), Ketchikan, Alaska.

According to a written statement provided by the pilot, the airplane was loaded with just under 1000 pounds of geoduck clams destined for Ketchikan. During an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to PAKT runway 11, the pilot performed the missed approach procedure at decision height due to no visual contact with the runway environment. The pilot stated that the right engine seized during the climb out about 2,000 feet MSL. The pilot directed the passenger in the right front seat, to help navigate to Annette Island Airport and perform radio communications. The pilot stated that he attempted to feather the right engine by pulling the propeller control to the feather position, however the propeller would not feather. He stated that he was not able to maintain altitude, even at the designated single engine rate of climb airspeed of 120 knots and maximum power setting of 36.5 inHg manifold pressure and 2300 RPM on the left engine. The passenger declared an emergency with Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and requested radar vectors for terrain clearance. According to a written statement provided by the passenger, Anchorage ARTCC stated that they did not have radar coverage at the altitude at which the aircraft was operating. The airplane descended through the clouds on the west side of Annette Island about five miles north of Annette Island Airport. The pilot stated that the airplane exited the clouds at an altitude of between 100 and 200 feet with about 1 mile of inflight visibility. When the airplane descended through 50 feet, the pilot initiated a forced water landing in Smuggler's Cove near the coastline. The passenger transmitted the ditching intentions on the ARTCC frequency. According to the pilot, the right wing contacted the water first and the airplane yawed right. When the nose section contacted the water, it immediately separated from the airplane. Both occupants egressed through the left crew door and swam about 200 yards to shore. The pilot reported seeing fire on the surface of the water. The airplane then sank in about 14 fathoms (about 84ft) of water.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an ALNOT (alert notice) at 0826. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau directed a response vessel from Coast Guard station Ketchikan and an MH-60 helicopter from Air Station Sitka. The Metlakatla fire department launched a rescue boat and were first to arrive on scene about 30 minutes after the accident. The two survivors were transported to Metlakatla medical clinic and treated for minor injuries. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the waves were 6 feet high at Smuggler's Cove when they arrived.

The closest weather reporting facility is Annette Island Airport (PANT), about three miles south of the accident site. At 0815, an aviation special weather report (SPECI) from PANT was reporting in part: wind 150 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 23 knots; sky condition, broken 600 feet, overcast 1,100 feet; visibility, 2 statute miles in light snow; temperature 2 degrees C; dewpoint -1 degrees C; altimeter, 29.46 inHg.

Authorities released the names of a pilot and passenger in a plane crash Friday morning near Metlakatla.

A wheeled, twin-engine Beech G-18 enroute from Klawock was trying to land at the Ketchikan airport about 8:30 a.m. Friday, Ketchikan Flight Service reported.

The pilot was Steven Hewitt of Seattle and Grant Hasting of Auburn, Wash., was the passenger.

The aircraft missed the Ketchikan runway on its first attempt and then lost power to one engine while circling back, according to Alaska State Troopers. Hewitt told air traffic control that he was going to attempt a beach landing, then radio communication was lost.

The plane went into the water near Smugglers Cove, south of Metlakatla just off of Annette Island, troopers reported. The plane sank, but the two men on board were able to swim the approximately 200 yards to shore. They were found by Annette Island Search and Rescue crews, and were taken to the Metlakatla clinic for treatment of minor injuries.

The weather in the Ketchikan area on Friday morning included heavy snow and strong winds.

Numerous agencies responded quickly, including Alaska State Troopers, Wildlife Troopers, U.S. Coast Guard, Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, Metlakatla Police Department and Annette Island Search and Rescue.


JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - Two people were rescued after their plane made an emergency landing in the water near Ketchikan Friday. 

Kent Colby at Ketchikan Radio Center interviewed the Metlakatla Police Chief and provided News of the North with this report:

The Coast Guard reports the pilot of a BE18 Beechcraft missed the approach to the Ketchikan Airport due to icing on the airplane, diverted for an emergency landing on Annette Island, but had to make an emergency landing in the water in Smuggler's Cove near Annette Island.

Tribal and local partners assisted. Metlakatla police and fire rescue boat crews were the first to arrive, and transported the two survivors to Metlakatla Clinic. They were treated for minor injuries.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders briefed the Alaska State Troopers and Annette Island Fire Department, and released an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to mariners. A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan Response Boat-Medium crew and an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew were directed to the scene.

The Station Ketchikan RB-M crew remains on scene to monitor the scene for potential pollution with Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel.

Both crew members on a plane that ditched in waters near Ketchikan Friday morning were able to escape with only minor injuries, according to federal officials.

Clint Johnson, the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska chief, said the plane went down shortly after 8 a.m., when it failed to land at the Ketchikan airport during an instrument approach in snow showers. The aircraft set down off Annette Island.

Noreen Price, the NTSB investigator assigned to the incident, said that the Beech 18 — a twin-engine propeller plane, operated by Washington-based Point to Point Air — was on a flight from Klawock to Ketchikan at the time of the landing. No passengers were on board, Price said the company told her.

"On the radio, the crew reported that they had an engine failure during that missed approach," Price said. "They could not maintain altitude and they made an emergency landing."

After the Beech ditched, Price said, the plane's occupants got out and were able to swim to shore as the aircraft sank. A rescue boat from Metlakatla was sent to the area and picked up the crew.

The U.S. Coast Guard also sent a Ketchikan-based response boat and a Sitka-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the scene, according to a statement from the service. The Metlakatla boat crew took the occupants to a clinic in Metlakatla for care.

Weather in the area included winds at 34 mph, 6-foot seas and "restricted visibility," the Coast Guard statement said.


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