Friday, January 10, 2020

Landing Area Undershoot: De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Mk.III, N456SF; accident occurred May 03, 2019 in McCarthy, Alaska

View of right landing gear support damage.

View of left landing gear support damage.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: McCarthy, AK
Accident Number: GAA19CA251
Date & Time: 05/03/2019, 1630 AKD
Registration: N456SF
Aircraft: De Havilland DHC2
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing area undershoot
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the approach to land on a private, gravel-covered airstrip, a dust cloud obscured three-quarters of the airstrip, but the approach end of the airstrip remained visible. He added that, during the approach, the airplane encountered wind shear, and the main landing gear then impacted terrain before the approach end of the airstrip. The airplane then bounced and came to rest nose down.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the landing gear box.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was variable from 060° to 120° at 20 knots, gusting to 25 knots. The pilot landed the airplane to the east. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain a proper approach path in gusting wind conditions, which resulted in the airplane landing short of the airstrip and bouncing.


Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Landing area undershoot (Defining event)
Nose over/nose down
Abnormal runway contact

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Airship
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/30/2018
Occupational Pilot:Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/01/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 31096 hours (Total, all aircraft), 5724 hours (Total, this make and model), 31096 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: De Havilland
Registration: N456SF
Model/Series: DHC2 III
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1683 TB51
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/14/2018, Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 21750.9 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: PT-6-27
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 680 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Fejes Guide Service Ltd.
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: , 1250 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Observation Time:  AKD
Direction from Accident Site: 323°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 20 knots / 25 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / Terrain-Induced
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / Unknown
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: McCarthy, AK (PVT)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Ultima Thule Lodge (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Gravel
Airport Elevation: 1250 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2000 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.128611, -142.415278 (est)

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