Sunday, January 21, 2018

de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Mk-1 Beaver, N6781L, registered to and operated by Kenmore Air Seaplanes: Accident occurred September 30, 2016 near Lopez Island, San Juan County, Washington

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Renton, Washington

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Kenmore Air Harbor Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N6781L

Location: Lopez Island, WA
Accident Number: WPR16LA189
Date & Time: 09/30/2016, 0837 PDT
Registration: N6781L
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND BEAVER DHC 2 MK.1
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: VFR encounter with IMC
Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Scheduled 

On September 30, 2016, at 0837 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Dehavilland, Beaver DHC-2 MK1, N6781L, unintentionally impacted the water near Lopez Island, Washington, while descending through a break in a cloud layer. The airplane was registered to and operated by Kenmore Air Seaplanes under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The commercial pilot, and one passenger sustained minor injuries, two passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence, and subsequently sunk. The scheduled commuter flight departed Kenmore Air Harbor Seaplane Base (W55), Seattle, Washington, about 0800, with a planned destination of Fisherman Bay (81W), Washington. Visual and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight, and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed.

In a statement submitted to the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that he departed W55 with three passengers, and that his first planned stop was 81W. As he initiated his descent just south of Cattle Pass at 2,000 ft, he observed breaks in the undercast north of the pass. The pilot stated that he could see the water at all times during the descent, and that he could see the destination "all the way down." The pilot further stated that he then completed the landing checklist, except for flaps, and at a certain point, before turning final to land north at 81W, he lost sight of the water. The pilot reported that when he realized the approach was no longer practical, he added go-around power, raised the nose, and initiated a go-around. Shortly thereafter, the airplane impacted the water, bounced, then impacted the water again. The pilot stated that after the airplane came to rest in an upright position, water began to enter the [cabin/cockpit areas]. The pilot mentioned that after he and his three passengers had successfully egressed the airplane and been in the water from between 35 to 45 minutes, they were rescued by a motor trawler and a local Sheriff's boat. The airplane sank and was not recovered.

The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Air Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) SIERRA advisory for instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions, which was applicable for the accident site, was issued at 0745 PDT. It advised of ceilings below 1,000 ft above ground level (agl), visibility below 3 statute miles, mist and fog.

At 0753, the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) located at Friday Harbor Airport (FHR), Friday Harbor Washington, about 3.5 nm northwest of the accident location, reported wind calm, visibility 6 miles, mist, ceiling overcast at 300 ft agl, temperature 10° C, dew point 8° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.

At 0853, the FHR weather reporting facility indicated wind 080° at 3 knots, visibility 9 miles, ceiling overcast 400 ft agl, temperature 10° C, dew point 8° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.06 inches of mercury. (Refer to the NTSB's Meteorological Specialist's report, which is appended to the docket for this accident.)

In the RECOMMENDATION section of the NTSB 6120.1 report, the operator opined that the accident occurred because of the pilot's decision to operate in an area in which there was at least some ground fog present in some areas, including at the accident site itself. According to other [company] pilots flying that morning, this area was easily avoidable with a slight flight path deviation to the west, where ceiling and visibility remained unrestricted. The operator further stated that any recommendations for prevention, therefore, must address the pilot's decision to operate where he did. Additionally, the operator referenced the Federal Aviation Administration's Risk Management Handbook (FAA-H-8083-2), stating, "...this addresses this need well, and would be the template followed for training." 



Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:  10/20/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/11/2016
Flight Time:  25000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1630 hours (Total, this make and model), 15000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 202 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 51 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: DEHAVILLAND
Registration: N6781L
Model/Series: BEAVER DHC 2 MK.1 MARKI
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1953
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 788
Landing Gear Type: Float;
Seats: 8
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  09/28/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7395.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: R985AN/14B
Registered Owner: KENMORE AIR HARBOR INC
Rated Power: 450 hp
Operator: KENMORE AIR HARBOR INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code:  GJRA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFHR, 109 ft msl
Observation Time: 0835 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 321°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Thin Overcast / 400 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 8°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 400 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 80°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SEATTLE, WA (W55)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LOPEZ, WA (81W)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0800 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information


Airport: FISHERMANS BAY (81W)
Runway Surface Type: Water
Airport Elevation: 0 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Water--calm
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing:  Valley/Terrain Following; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  48.464167, -122.953333 (est)


NTSB Identification: WPR16LA189
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, September 30, 2016 in Lopez Island, WA
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND BEAVER DHC 2 MK.1, registration: N6781L
Injuries: 2 Serious, 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 September 30, 2016, at 0837 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Dehavilland, Beaver DHC-2 MK1, N6781L, unintentionally impacted the water near Lopez Island, Washington, while descending through a break in a cloud layer. The airplane was registered to and operated by Kenmore Air Seaplanes under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. The commercial pilot, and one passenger sustained minor injuries, two passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence, and subsequently sunk. The scheduled commuter flight departed Lake Union (W55), Washington, about 0800 with a planned destination of Fisherman Bay (81W), Washington. Visual and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight, and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that after departing Lake Union he flew the normal route which was northbound on the west side of Whidbey Island toward the destination of Fisherman Bay. He stated there was no significant weather for the first portion of the flight, with high cloud ceilings, or none at all, and unrestricted visibility.

In the area of Smith Island, the pilot reported encountering a lower stratus layer. He continued flying over the low clouds until he started his descent; the airplane subsequently impacted the water.

The pilot and passengers were able to exit the airplane and the passengers were able to ultimately don life vests. They were rescued about 30 minutes later by a passing yacht.

The airplane wreckage sank and at this time has not been located.

No comments: