Monday, June 24, 2019

Helio H-250 Courier, N6314V: Fatal accident occurred June 21, 2019 in Seward, Alaska

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Juneau, Alaska 
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Seward, AK
Accident Number: ANC19FA026
Date & Time: 06/21/2019, 1546 AKD
Registration: N6314V
Aircraft: Helio H 250
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 21, 2019, about 1546 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Helio Courier H-250 airplane, N6314V, was destroyed after a collision with tree-covered terrain about 25 miles southeast of Seward, Alaska. The airline transport pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a visual flight rules personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Seward Airport (SWD), Seward, Alaska, about 1450.

According to a friend of the accident pilot who owns and operates a CFR Part 135 air taxi company based at the Seward Airport, the purpose of the flight was to pick up two passengers from an area known as Johnstone Bay, and return them to Seward. He explained that his air taxi had dropped the couple off on June 18, and they were originally scheduled to be picked up on June 25, but they contacted him via a satellite phone and asked to be picked up sooner. The air taxi owner said that when the couple called for the early pickup, his company airplane was configured on wheel-skis for glacier operations and would be unable to land at the unimproved airstrip until after removing the skis. He said that the accident pilot volunteered to pick up the two passengers using his personally owned Helio Courier H-250 airplane, free of charge, and under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91.

The owner of the air taxi company further reported that, after the accident airplane departed from SWD en route to Johnstone Bay, he tracked the accident airplane's last known location using the pilot's inReach GPS unit, and the last "ping" was at about 1546, at Johnstone Bay. When the airplane failed to return to SWD by 1600, he started an aerial search in his personally owned Piper PA-18, and he eventually discovered the burning wreckage near the departure end of the site.

On June 22, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, along with the Alaska State Troopers, and a Federal Aviation Administration air safety investigator, reached the accident site via an Alaska State Trooper helicopter. The airplane was located south of the airstrip, on the shoreline of a small river that flowed from Little Johnstone Lake into Johnstone Bay in the North Pacific Ocean. An area believed to be the initial impact point was marked by a broken treetop, in an area with 100-foot-tall trees at the southern end of the airstrip. The distance between the initial impact point and the main wreckage site was about 125 feet.

A postcrash fire incinerated a large portion of the wreckage.

The wreckage was recovered from the accident site, and a post recovery examination is pending.

The closest weather reporting facility was about 25 nautical miles away, located at PAWD. At 2353, PAWD was reporting, in part: winds 190° at 10 knots; visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear; temperature 57°F; dew point 48°F; and an altimeter setting of 30.06" Hg.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Helio
Registration: N6314V
Model/Series: H 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAWD, 22 ft msl
Observation Time: 2353 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Seward, AK (SWD)
Destination: Seward, AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 59.941667, -148.664444 (est)

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

Michael Timmer Jr. (42) and Traci Timmer (43) passed away Friday, June 21, 2019 in Alaska due to injuries sustained in a small plane accident.
Traci was a devoted wife and mother of five children. She was a graduate of Lee High School, had worked part time as a phlebotomist at Zeeland Hospital, and was currently working for the Kent County Health Department. Michael was a skilled tradesman who worked for H & M Demolition and later Specialized Demolition. He had just renewed his pilot’s license, was an avid hunter and fisherman, and took great joy in taxidermy work. Mike and Traci loved spending time together and with family in the great outdoors.

They were preceded in death by Traci’s dad, Kenneth Horning.

Surviving are their children, Kristen (Jake), Brooke, Bracyn, Sydni, and Eva; granddaughter Emerie Brown; Traci’s parents, Christena Horning and Robert Lipsey; Mike’s parents Mike Sr. and Karen Timmer; Mike’s grandmother Mildred Zoerhof; Traci’s siblings, Kandice, Jerry (Stacy), Mike (Melissa), David (Anne-Terese), Doug; Mike’s siblings, Julie (Travis), Joshua (Dawn), and Mindy (Jim); Traci’s cousin Jennifer (Andy) Dailey; as well as many extended family and friends.  A memorial service to celebrate Mike and Traci’s life will be at 11:00am Saturday, July 13, 2019 at Life Change Community Church, 3014 Newell St., Dorr, MI 49323.  Visitation will be from 10:00am until the time of the service at Life Change Church on Saturday, July 13.
A plane that crashed Friday southeast of Seward was returning from a trip to pick up a couple from Michigan at a remote bay, authorities say.

The passengers killed in the crash of the Helio Courier H-250 plane were 42-year-old Michael John Timmer and 43-year-old Traci Pauline Timmer, both of Hopkins, Michigan, Alaska State Troopers said in an update posted Monday morning.

The pilot, 63-year-old Kem Sibbitt of Fairbanks, also died.

The plane crashed on land and then burst into flames, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The fire incinerated the wreckage.

Sibbitt took off midafternoon Friday to pick up two people and their gear at Johnstone Bay and bring them back to Seward, NTSB Alaska chief Clint Johnson said. The bay is framed by icefields to the north and Chugach range peaks to the east and west.

The operator of the flight wasn’t immediately clear Monday. Federal investigators were also still trying to establish whether the Timmers hired the pilot for the flight.

The couple was vacationing in Alaska, where they’d recently bought property, according to a Gofundme page established to help their five children.

Troopers said they heard about the crash near Little Johnstone Lake at around 6 p.m. Friday. A commercial helicopter from Seward landed and confirmed there were no survivors.

Original article can be found here ➤

1 comment:

  1. Prayers to family. What bothers me about this tragedy is the fact they went on these somewhat hazardous adventures with 5 young children at home. This is going to be hard for the kids but also the family that will now have to raise them. R.I.P.