Monday, December 20, 2021

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N97HA: Accident occurred August 16, 2021 in Fairbanks, Alaska

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

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

Wright Air Service Inc

Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Accident Number: ANC21LA073
Date and Time: August 16, 2021, 14:52 Local
Registration: N97HA
Aircraft: Cessna 208 
Injuries: 9 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi and commuter - Scheduled

On August 16, 2021, about 1452 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N97HA, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an inflight upset near Fairbanks, Alaska. The pilot and eight passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated by Wright Air Service as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 scheduled commuter flight, as flight number 440.

According to the accident pilot, flight 440 departed about 1424 from the Fairbanks International Airport (FAI), destined for Huslia, Alaska (HLA), located about 220 miles east-northeast of FAI. After departure, she climbed the airplane to her assigned altitude of 10,000 ft mean sea level (MSL), where she encountered what she described as “light rime” icing conditions. In an effort to exit the icing conditions, she asked and was assigned a block altitude from 10,000 - 12,000 ft msl, and subsequently climbed the airplane to 10,500 ft msl. Unable to exit the icing conditions, she elected to begin a gradual descent back to 10,000 ft msl. She added that instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and that the autopilot was engaged. The pilot also noted that while enroute, the airplane’s deicing boots, and heated propeller were operating normally by removing ice accumulations.

She said that while in a gradual descent from 10,500 ft. msl to 10,000 ft. msl, the autopilot suddenly disengaged, without warning, and the airplane entered an abrupt uncommand right bank followed by a steep nose down, spiraling descent. The pilot said that it felt as if the aileron controls were jammed as she tried to regain control of the airplane. After regaining control of the airplane, she declared an inflight emergency and subsequently made an emergency landing at FAI.

A review of preliminary flight track data revealed that after departing FAI, the flight proceeded to the west, northwest for about 47 nm, cruising at about 10,000 ft msl. Prior to the upset, a climb was initiated and the flight reached an altitude of about 10,700 ft msl before descending to about 10,300 ft msl followed by abrupt changes to altitude and ground speed.

A postflight inspection of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the right aileron. Flight control continuity was established continuously from each control surface to the corresponding cockpit controls.

The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GFC 600 autopilot that recorded several parameters on nonvolatile memory. The memory was downloaded, and a detailed analysis is on-going.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N97HA
Model/Series: 208
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter air carrier (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAFA, 432 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C /9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 800 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3800 ft AGL 
Visibility: 5 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.79 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Fairbanks, AK 
Destination: Huslia, AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 8 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 9 None
Latitude, Longitude: 64.935913,-148.20412


  1. The Pilot controlled the Aircraft like a Pro. She was remarkable. The link is about
    this flight also and displays pictures of the damaged aileron.
    Can't wait to read final report on the mechanical cause.

    1. Tell me you were the pilot without telling me you were the pilot.


  2. Hahaha this idiot iced up and wasn’t paying attention. She nearly killed them all. Wasn’t supposed to use AP in icing. She’s far from a pro.

  3. Not a pro. She cashed this by ineptitude.