Sunday, May 02, 2021

Landing Area Undershoot: de Havilland DHC-2T, N456SF; accident occurred May 03, 2019 in McCarthy, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: McCarthy, Alaska 
Accident Number: GAA19CA251
Date & Time: May 3, 2019, 16:30 Local
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.


Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Miscellaneous/other
Landing Other weather encounter
Landing Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Landing Landing area undershoot (Defining event)
Landing Nose over/nose down
Landing 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: August 30, 2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: July 1, 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: August 14, 2018 Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Turbo prop
Airframe Total Time: 21750.9 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: PT-6-27
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 680 Horsepower
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 (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 1250 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Observation Time:
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: 
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 msl 
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:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 61.128612,-142.415283(est)

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