Friday, April 12, 2019

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six E, registered to a private individual and operated by Yute Commuter Service under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as a visual flight rules, on-demand passenger flight, N4466T: Accident occurred April 11, 2019 near Bethel Airport (PABE), 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; Anchorage, Alaska

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bethel, AK
Accident Number: ANC19LA016
Date & Time: 04/11/2019, 1613 AKD
Registration: N4466T
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled 

On April 11, 2019, about 1613 Alaska daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300 airplane, N4466T, sustained substantial damage during a forced off-airport landing following a complete loss of engine power, about 25 nautical miles northeast of the Bethel Airport (BET), Bethel, Alaska. The pilot and three passengers sustained no injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual and was operated by Yute Commuter Service under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as a visual flight rules, on-demand passenger flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Aniak Airport (ANI), Alaska about 1532.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that, while en route from ANI to BET, the engine began to sound different and he observed a decline of the engine oil pressure to below the green arc. The engine rpm decreased to about 2000 rpm, and the oil pressure continued to decrease to the yellow arc. He added that, as he turned the airplane toward the Akiak Airport (AKI), the closest airport, and while adjusting the propeller rpm, all engine power was lost. During the subsequent off-airport forced landing, on the tundra-covered meadow, the main landing gear separated from the airplane, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

The airplane was subsequently recovered from the accident site and transported to a secure location for further examination.

The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming IO-540 engine. A postaccident engine examination is pending.

The closest weather reporting facility was the Kipnuk Airport, Kipnuk, Alaska, about 9 nautical miles from the accident site. At 1356, the METAR was reporting, in part: wind 060° at 18 knots; visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 7,000 ft, broken 8,000 ft.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4466T
Model/Series: PA-32-300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Yute Commuter Service
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135); On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAKI, 30 ft msl
Observation Time: 1356 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 18 knots / , 60°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 8000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Aniak, AK (ANI)
Destination: Bethel, AK (BET)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.033333, -161.133333 (est)

A Yute Air plane crashed without injuries Thursday afternoon near Bethel, according to Alaska State Troopers and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Word of the crash, about 30 miles northeast of Bethel, reached troopers at about 5 p.m. according to an online dispatch.

“The aircraft, a Yute Air [Piper] PA-32, was being operated commercially on a charter flight from Aniak to Bethel,” troopers wrote. “The pilot and three adult male passengers were not injured. An Alaska Army [National] Guard UH-60 helicopter responded from Bethel and picked up the survivors.”

Clint Johnson, the NTSB’s Alaska chief, confirmed that no injuries had been reported in the crash. According to Johnson, “the pilot reported loss of engine power” which led to “a subsequent forced landing” of the single-engine plane.

Investigators were awaiting further details on the crash Thursday evening, Johnson said.

Original article can be found here ➤

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