Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N814GV, operated by Hageland Aviation Services Inc dba Ravn Connect: Accident occurred April 11, 2018 near Atqasuk Edward Burnell Sr. Memorial Airport (PATQ), 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; Fairbanks, Alaska

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N814GV

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Atqasuk, AK
Accident Number: ANC18LA031
Date & Time: 04/11/2018, 0818 AKD
Registration: N814GV
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Scheduled 

On April 11, 2018, about 0818 Alaska daylight time, a single-engine, turbine-powered Cessna 208B airplane, N814GV, impacted snow-covered terrain about two miles north of the Atqasuk Airport, Atqasuk, Alaska. The airline transport pilot, the only occupant onboard, sustained minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was being operated by Hageland Aviation Services, Inc., dba Ravn Connect, Anchorage, Alaska, as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country cargo/mail flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) existed at the flight's point of departure, and company flight-following procedures were in effect. The flight originated about 0758, from the Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow) Airport, Utqiagvik Alaska, and it was destined for Atqasuk, which is located about 58 miles south.

The area between Utqiagvik and Atqasuk consists of remote, flat, featureless, tundra-covered terrain, which is snow-covered in April.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on April 12, the director of safety for the company related that the purpose of the flight was to transport a load of U.S. Post Office mail to Atqasuk.

During a brief telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on April 13, the accident pilot said that he departed from Utqiagvik just before 0800 with approximately 1,500 pounds of mail on board that was destined for Atqasuk. He noted that weather conditions at the time of departure consisted of clear skies, 9 miles visibility, and a light wind. After takeoff, the airplane climbed to 2,500 feet msl, and proceeded southbound towards Atqasuk.

The pilot said that as the airplane neared Atqasuk, with the autopilot engaged, the airplane descended to about 1,500 feet msl, but then he noticed an area of low fog around Atqasuk. He said that when the airplane was about two miles from the airport, he heard the audible autopilot disengagement annunciator tone sound, which was immediately followed by the pilot's control column pitching forward. The pilot said that he was unable to pull the control column back, and the airplane subsequently descended into instrument meteorological conditions. He said that the airplane continued to descend into the fog, then it struck the snow-covered tundra, and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage.

The airplane was equipped with a digital, 406 MHz ELT that instantly transmits a distress signal to search and rescue satellites, thereby alerting rescue personnel within minutes of the location of the crash. However, no emergency transmitter locator (ELT) signal was received by search personnel, but the pilot was able to use his cell phone to alert company personnel of the accident.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on April 13, a North Slope Borough Search and Rescue helicopter pilot said that while en route from Utqiagvik to the accident site he encountered ice fog, reduced visibility, and flat light conditions that made it difficult to discern topographical features on the snow-covered tundra. He noted that as the flight continued, both pilots noticed ice beginning to accumulate on the helicopter's windscreen, so the decision was made to abort the search and rescue flight, and the helicopter returned to Utqiagvik. A search team from Atqasuk eventually reached the accident site on snow machines and transported the pilot to Atqasuk.

The closest recorded weather reporting facility was the Utqiagvik Airport, 58 miles north of the accident site. The 0753 observation reported, in part: Wind, 030° at 9 knots; visibility, 9 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, clear; temperature, minus 7° F; dew point, minus 3° F; altimeter, 29.66 inches of Mercury.

A detailed examination of the airplane wreckage is pending. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N814GV
Model/Series: 208B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: RAVN Connect
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PABR
Observation Time: 0753 ADT
Distance from Accident Site: 58 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -14°C / -16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 30°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  9 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.66 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Utqiagvik, AK (PABR)
Destination: Atqasuk, AK (ATK) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:

The sole occupant of a cargo flight that crashed Wednesday morning in the North Slope Borough has survived unhurt.

Mike Hodges, the NTSB's lead investigator on the incident, said the plane -- a Cessna 208B Caravan operated by Hageland Aviation and making a mail run -- had crashed on tundra about 2 miles north of the airport in Atqasuk, roughly 60 miles southwest of Utqiagvik. Word of the incident initially reached the NTSB at about 9:15 a.m.

"The preliminary information we have is that there was one person on board, the pilot, and he was in communication with North Slope Borough Search and Rescue," Hodges said. "North Slope helicopters are en route to pick up the pilot."

A statement from the Ravn Air Group, under which Hageland flies, confirmed the pilot's status Wednesday. Officials said he was being evaluated at a clinic.

"Our aircraft was forced to land approximately 3 miles short of the village runway for reasons that are unknown at this time," Ravn officials wrote. "There were no passengers on the plane and our pilot is uninjured."

The incident comes the day after the NTSB held a hearing to determine the probable cause of another Hageland-operated Caravan's 2016 flight into a mountainside near Togiak. That crash, which left two pilots and their sole passenger dead, led the NTSB to cite issues with pilot training as well as use of the aircraft's terrain avoidance warning system.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.ktva.com

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