Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N9448B: Accident occurred July 08, 2019 at Bethel Airport (PABE), Alaska

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska
Denali CMO; Anchorage, Alaska
Grant Aviation Inc; Anchorage, Alaska

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N9448B

Location: Bethel, AK
Accident Number: ANC19LA031
Date & Time: 07/08/2019, 1505 AKD
Registration: N9448B
Aircraft: Cessna 208
Injuries: 6 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Scheduled 

On July 8, 2019, about 1505 Alaska daylight time, Grant Aviation flight GV262, a turbine-powered Cessna 208B airplane, N9448B, was destroyed by a post-crash fire after impacting terrain during a go-around maneuver at the Bethel Airport (BET), Bethel, Alaska. The commercial pilot and five passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to Avion Capital Corp., and operated under visual flight rules by Grant Aviation, Inc, Anchorage, Alaska, as a scheduled commuter flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight departed the Newtok Airport (EWU), Newtok, Alaska, about 1430.

The pilot stated that after contacting the Bethel Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) about 10 miles west of the airport, he offered to use runway 12, because it was a more expeditious arrival from the west, and he wanted to "make it easier" for the tower controller who was very busy with arrivals of other airplanes using runways 1L and 1R. The pilot reported that, about 4 miles southwest of the airport, the tower controller cleared him to land on runway 12. Shortly thereafter, the tower controller asked the pilot to "square off" his approach. The pilot stated that he selected a higher than normal traffic pattern altitude, due to the limited visibility and terrain located on the west side of the airport. He conducted a visual approach to runway 12, with an increased rate of descent and full flaps. During the landing flare, the airplane floated down the runway, and the pilot executed a go-around, due to insufficient runway distance remaining. He advanced the throttle to maximum (red line), and retracted the flaps to 20°, while increasing the airplane's pitch attitude. As the airplane climbed out, the pilot transmitted on the tower frequency that he was going around. The pilot recalled that the tower controller urgently instructed him twice to "turn left immediately." He said that as he initiated the turn to the left, the airplane suddenly stalled, rolled right and descended, impacting the ground in a right wing low attitude.

The airplane came to rest on its right side in the grass covered drainage ditch between runways 1L and 1R. The pilot stated that he saw fire through the right window, and immediately went to the back of the airplane to help with the evacuation of the two children and three adult passengers through the left cargo door before the airplane was consumed by fire. Witnesses, the BET Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) crews and the Bethel Fire Department responded.

A preliminary review of archived, Federal Aviation Administration BET ATCT audio files, revealed that, as the pilot was making his radio transmission of intent to go around, the tower controller interrupted and instructed the pilot to immediately make a left turn, which he quickly repeated.

Runway 12 at BET is a 1,858 ft long asphalt and gravel runway which does not intersect with runway 1L or 1R. Refer to figure 1.


Figure 1. Bethel Airport runways and accident site

The closest weather reporting facility is BET. At 1453, a METAR from BET was reporting in part: wind, light and variable at 3 knots; visibility, 3 statute miles in haze; sky condition, clear; temperature, 88° F; dew point 66° F; and an altimeter setting of 29.84 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9448B
Model/Series: 208 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: GRANT AVIATION INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135); On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: ENHA

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PABE, 128 ft msl
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  3 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Newtok, AK (EWU)
Destination: Bethel, AK (BET)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 5 Minor
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 6 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 60.776667, -161.838611 (est)

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