Thursday, July 08, 2021

Collision During Takeoff: Cessna 185 Skywagon, N185YT; accident occurred July 05, 2021 - Kenney Lake, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Location: Kenney Lake, Alaska
Accident Number: ANC21LA053
Date and Time: July 5, 2021, 22:45 Local
Registration: N185YT
Aircraft: Cessna 185
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, just after takeoff from a remote off-airport landing site, the airplane’s left wing impacted a small sapling tree which resulted in a loss of directional control. The pilot attempted to correct for the loss of control to no avail. The airplane subsequently impacted a stand of trees sustaining substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.

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 adequate clearance from a tree during takeoff, which resulted in a loss of directional control and impact with terrain.


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Awareness of condition

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Collision during takeoff/land (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 52, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: BasicMed 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 14, 2021
Flight Time: 1857.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 647 hours (Total, this make and model), 1838.2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 55.4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 23.9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N185YT
Model/Series: 185 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: 
Normal Serial Number: 185-0145
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 4, 2021 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3525 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6453.2 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-550 D20B
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAGK,1562 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 31 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 21:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 329°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 7000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 160° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Kenney Lake, AK 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: McCarthy, AK
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Private PVT 
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 1250 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 61.7318,-144.9436


  1. General question for anyone familiar with the topic: Why is there such a big group of incident reports coming out of Alaska at the same time? Does the FAA office there just report them for the week all at once or something?

    1. Occurrence dates of Alaska listings, by dates posted to AIN:
      Posted in AIN on 29-JUN-21:
      28-JUN-21 N98109
      Posted in AIN on 02-JUL-21:
      02-JUL-21 N2746D
      Posted in AIN on 06-JUL-21:
      04-JUL-21 N5213X
      04-JUL-21 N6930D
      28-JUN-21 N8216J
      03-JUL-21 N1199Q
      Posted in AIN on 08-JUL-21:
      06-JUL-21 N185YT
      07-JUL-21 N6163U
      07-JUL-21 N349X

      Only two of those were posted to AIN later than 1 business day after occurrence. FAA is reporting as they go.

  2. Alaska has more planes than any other state. There are 7,933 active pilots, 2,801 airframe and power plant mechanics of which 750 have
    inspection authorizations, and 9,346 registered aircraft in Alaska.

  3. It’s summer time. Same reason so many Air Tractor incidents.