Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Piper PA-32R-300 Cherokee Lance, N7721C: Accident occurred November 11, 2019 near m Goodnews Bay Airport (GNU), -and- Incident occurred May 08, 2019 in Eek, 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
Yute Commuter Service, Business Manager; Bethel, Alaska

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


Location: Goodnews Bay, AK
Accident Number: ANC20LA004
Date & Time: 11/10/2019, 1845 AKS
Registration: N7721C
Aircraft: Piper PA32R
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use

On November 10, 2019, about 1845 Alaska standard time, a Piper PA-32-300 airplane, N7721C, sustained substantial damage during impact with water after takeoff from Goodnews Bay Airport (GNU), Goodnews Bay, Alaska. The commercial pilot and pilot rated observer were not injured. The airplane was operated by Paklook Air Inc., dba Yute Commuter Service, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a visual flight rules, non-revenue segment of a scheduled commuter flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company flight plan was filed. The flight originated from GNU about 1840, and was destined for Bethel Airport (BET), Bethel, Alaska.

The pilot was conducting a scheduled flight route from BET to Platinum Airport (PTU), Platinum, Alaska, to GNU with a return to BET. The pilot invited a company pilot, who was undergoing initial training, to ride along as an observer in the right seat. The last segment of the flight from GNU had no passengers, mail or cargo onboard.

According to the pilot, after takeoff from GNU runway 06, the airplane climbed to about 300 feet and he initiated a right turn to avoid mountainous terrain to the north. He adjusted his engine control settings to 25 inches manifold pressure and 2,500 rpm while in the turn. The pilot recalled that it was dark, but he could see Beluga Point in the distance. During the turn, about 500 ft mean sea level, he noticed that the vertical speed indicator was indicating a descent, and he attempted to arrest the rate of the descent by pulling back on the yoke, but the airplane did not respond. He thought that the engine wasn't producing sufficient power because the airplane continued to descend unexplainably. He rolled wings level and the airplane impacted the water near the mouth of the Goodnews River about 60 ft from the shoreline. The pilot estimated that the impact occurred about 30 to 60 seconds after the descent was first noted, and there was no time to perform emergency procedures or attempt to restore power.

The pilot rated observer stated that after takeoff, he removed his headset to adjust a headlamp that was hanging around his neck. While he was looking down at his headlamp, he sensed something was different, and observed water outside the right window, but thought that it was heavy rain. He recalled that the engine sounded normal and the rpm was high. Shortly thereafter, he felt an impact, but he did not know what the airplane hit until water started rushing into the airplane. He heard the pilot exclaim, "Let's get out now!" The observer located his waterproof mobile phone under water in the right seat pocket before egressing. Both occupants egressed out the right door and climbed atop of the fuselage, where the water level was between their knees and waist. The observer called for rescue from his phone. A Goodnews Bay search and rescue boat rescued the survivors within 20 minutes.

The airplane was recovered from the accident site and transported to a secure location for further examination. The right and left wings, right horizontal stabilizer and fuselage were substantially damaged. Refer to figure 1. A Garmin 796 GPS unit was recovered from the wreckage. According to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the 406 MHz emergency locator transmission (ELT) was not received.

Figure 1. N7721C PA-32-300 at the accident site at low tide.
 (Courtesy of Yute Commuter Services) 

The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming IO-540 engine.

The closest weather reporting facility was PTU, about 9 nautical miles southwest of the accident site. The 1856 observation included wind from 140° at 12 knots gusting to 20 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, broken clouds at 1,600 ft, and overcast clouds at 2,000 ft.

The US Naval Observatory sunset time on the day of the accident was 1727. Moonrise was 1739 and civil twilight ended at 1816. The pilot and observer reported that no moonlight was observed due to the overcast clouds. The pilot stated that some light was visible on the horizon to the west and that clouds were also present in that direction. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7721C
Model/Series: PA32R 300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Paklook Air Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter Air Carrier (135)
Operator Does Business As: Yute Commuter Service
Operator Designator Code: T72A

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAPM, 15 ft msl
Observation Time: 0356 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / 20 knots, 140°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.67 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Departure Point: Goodnews Bay, AK
Destination: Bethel, AK (BET)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 59.112222, -161.581389 (est)

A six-seater Piper Lance operated by regional airline Yute Commuter Service crashed in Goodnews Bay on the evening of November 10th. Station Manager Andrew Flagg said that the pilot was the only one in the plane and escaped without injuries. Flagg declined to give any more details until the investigation into the crash concludes.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.kyuk.org

May 08, 2019:  Aircraft tipped forward and sustained prop strike.

Date: 08-MAY-19
Time: 20:21:00Z
Regis#: N7721C
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 32R 300
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: ON DEMAND
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 135
City: EEK

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