Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cessna 172, N7469A: Fatal accident occurred March 06, 2019 in Wasilla, Alaska

ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) - Alaska State Troopers have confirmed they found a plane belonging to a missing pilot.

AST, NTSB, and FAA investigators went a reported airplane crash site in the Alaska Range just outside of Rainy Pass.

Investigators confirmed that the plane’s tail number N7469A matched that of the plane belonging to pilot Timothy D. Twohy of Wasilla, missing since March 7, 2019.

Remains were found on the scene.

They were sent to the State Medical Examiner for confirmation.

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 06-MAR-19
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: N7469A
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91


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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Nikolai, AK
Accident Number: ANC19FAMS1
Date & Time: 03/06/2019, 1700 AKS
Registration: N7469A
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: N/A
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 6, 2019, at an undetermined time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N7469A, went missing and is presumed to have crashed, at a location between Farwell, Alaska, and Wasilla, Alaska. The crash site and the sole private pilot's whereabouts remain unknown. The airplane was registered to the pilot who was operating the airplane as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 visual flight rules personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the departure point at the time of departure, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Submarine Lake near Farewell at 1655 and it was en route to the Wasilla Airport (IYS), Wasilla, at the time of its disappearance.

The area between Farewell and Wasilla consists of remote mountainous, snow-covered terrain. The typical flight route between Farwell and Wasilla would be via Rainy Pass, a narrow mountain pass that is commonly used by Visual Flight Rules pilots to transit through the Alaska Range.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, a friend of the pilot who was hunting near Farewell, stated that the purpose of the flight was for the pilot to fly bison meat from their hunting camp located at Submarine Lake to IYS.

The friend said that the airplane arrived at Submarine Lake on March 6, about 1600, later than originally planned, and the pilot made a statement that he was delayed due to clouds near Skwentna. He also mentioned that he had difficulty navigating without his GPS unit. The pilot said that the pass was open, and the weather was good for the remainder of the flight. The pilot and his friend loaded the airplane with about 420 lbs. of bison meat, and the pilot added 5 gallons of fuel into the airplane's fuel tanks. The pilot commented to the friend that the airplane had 2.5 hours of fuel onboard. The pilot's friend reported that the weather deteriorated while they were loading the airplane, with occasional light snow and reduced visibility, but the mountains to the east were visible. The pilot agreed to send a text message to his friend's Garmin inReach satellite communication device when he arrived at IYS, and the airplane departed to the east about 1655 without incident. Later that evening, after repositioning the hunting camp, the friend noted that no text was received from the pilot and an overdue airplane report was filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight service station.

The FAA issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 2316 on March 6. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (AKRCC) coordinated a joint-agency search operation in the Alaska Range that included units from the Alaska Air National Guard, Army National Guard, United States Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol, Alaska State Troopers, and the National Park Service. There were no visual sightings of the airplane or pilot, and no emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signals were received. On March 22 the search operation was suspended by AKRCC.

A preliminary review of archived FAA primary radar data revealed that an unidentified aircraft, believed to be the missing airplane, departed Submarine Lake at 1655 and flew south along the south fork of the Kuskokwim River at an altitude of about 4,000 ft above mean sea level (msl). The radar track ended about 10 miles south of Submarine Lake 8 minutes after takeoff. A target that is believed to be the missing airplane appeared 11 minutes later 5 miles north of Rainy Pass about 6,700 ft msl tracking east. The target climbed to 6,900 ft before the track ended 1.4 minutes later. The last radar data point was at 1715:09 and indicated a track of about 110° at 102 knots ground speed, and at a latitude of 62.26993° and a longitude of -152.98216°.

The closest official weather observation station is located at Rainy Pass Lodge Airport (6AK) about 15 miles southeast of the last radar data point. At 1648, a weather observer reported, in part, wind, 250° at 4 knots; visibility, 20 statute miles; broken clouds at 2,700 ft; temperature, -2° C; dew point, -2° C; and an altimeter setting of 29.80 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7469A
Model/Series: 172
Aircraft Category:Airplane 
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 6AK, 1900 ft msl
Observation Time: 1648 AKS
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2700 ft agl
Visibility:  20 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.8 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Farewell, AK
Destination: Wasilla, AK (IYS) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: N/A
Latitude, Longitude:

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Timothy D. Twohy, a 61-year-old electrician and fire alarm systems technician from Wasilla, went missing while flying from Submarine Lake to Wasilla on March 5th, 2019.

Rescue officials suspended the search for a Wasilla-bound plane that went missing in the area of Rainy Pass more than two weeks ago, the Alaska Air National Guard said in a statement Friday.

After nearly 200 cumulative hours of searching, rescuers have found no sign of the missing red-and-white Cessna 172 or its pilot, 61-year-old Timothy D. Twohy of Wasilla, who was reported overdue late on March 5.

Twohy had flown to Submarine Lake that day to help friends pack out a bison they hunted, and went missing during his return trip to Wasilla, according to his son.

He took off from Farewell Airport after 5 p.m. for what is normally a 60- to 90-minute flight, but still hadn’t arrived by 11 p.m., search officials said.

Rough terrain in the Rainy Pass area, including altitudes reaching as high as 9,000 feet above sea level, made it impossible for rescuers to pinpoint reliable radar information, Lt. Col. Keenan Zerkel, director of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, said in a press briefing on Saturday.

“Until we get additional information or some clue as to survivorship, we are suspending our search effort,” Zerkel said.

No signal was detected from the plane’s electronic locator transmitter, and the search effort has been hampered from the beginning by poor weather conditions, from low cloud cover and turbulence to near-constant precipitation, search officials said.

“None of these decisions were made easily," Zerkel said. “We know it’s a humanitarian decision, but once we are certain that additional effort will not result in a more positive outcome, we make the tough decision to suspend the active search.”

A “large group” of Good Samaritan pilots are likely to continue the search independently, Zerkel said, and the government may resume the official search if new information or clues develop.

Charles Twohy, Timothy Twohy’s son, said his father was a “very careful and very meticulous” pilot who knew both his plane and the landscape well. He had been flying recreationally for at least two decades when he went missing.

There is no indication that Twohy flew to a destination other than Wasilla or didn’t want to be found, according to Zerkel.

Original article can be found here ➤

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