Sunday, June 05, 2022

Cessna A185E Skywagon, N1694M: Accidents occurred May 27, 2022 and May 31, 2015

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; Anchorage, Alaska

Location: Willow, Alaska
Accident Number: ANC22LA037
Date and Time: May 27, 2022, 09:30 Local
Registration: N1694M
Aircraft: Cessna A185E
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1694M
Model/Series: A185E
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PABV,96 ft msl
Observation Time: 09:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 34 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Big Lake, AK
Destination: Willow, AK

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: 61.649386,-150.59161 

May 27, 2022:  Aircraft landed and hit soft spot or hole on dirt strip and flipped over in Big Lake, Alaska. 

Date: 27-MAY-22
Time: 17:30:00Z
Regis#: N1694M
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: A185
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board did not 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: Talkeetna, Alaska
Accident Number: ANC15LA033
Date and Time: May 31, 2015, 17:20 Local 
Registration: N1694M
Aircraft: Cessna 185 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Midair collision 
Injuries: 1 Minor, 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Non-scheduled - Sightseeing


A Cessna 185 airplane was operating as a commercial air tour flight with five passengers on board in day, visual meteorological conditions. A student pilot was operating a Cessna 172 as a solo cross-country flight; both aircraft were landing on the same runway. The Cessna 185 entered the traffic pattern on an extended right base about 2.5 miles from the end of the runway, and the pilot was following procedures established by local commercial air tour operators, which did not include information about reporting points or describe nonstandard traffic pattern entry procedures; this information is contained in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) publications. The other airplane was also in the right traffic pattern for the same runway, and the student pilot was following the prescribed, FAA-recommended right traffic pattern procedures.

A review of recorded radio communications from the common traffic advisory frequency revealed that the student pilot made position reports 10 miles from the airport, 5 miles from the airport, directly over midfield, on the right downwind leg, and when turning from the base to final leg. The commercial pilot made two position reports: one at a visual flight rules reporting point and a second one during which he stated that he was No. 2 on the base leg for the runway even though he was actually No. 3. The student pilot turned his airplane onto the final approach leg behind the airplane that was No. 2 on the base leg for the runway. While on short final, the Cessna 185 impacted the Cessna 172 from behind, above, and slightly to the right, which resulted in the Cessna 185 straddling the Cessna 172. The two airplanes remained conjoined until ground impact. The commercial pilot reported that he never saw the other airplane. If the commercial pilot had followed the FAA-recommended traffic pattern procedures, he might have been able to see the Cessna 172 and avoid hitting it.

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 an adequate visual lookout, which resulted in a midair collision. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to follow Federal Aviation Administration recommended traffic pattern procedures.


Personnel issues Monitoring other aircraft - Pilot
Personnel issues Use of policy/procedure - Pilot

Factual Information

On May 31, 2015, about 1720 Alaska daylight time (AKD), a wheel-ski equipped Cessna 185 airplane, N1694M, and a tricycle gear equipped Cessna 172 airplane, N8525U, collided midair while landing at Talkeetna Airport, Talkeetna, Alaska. The Cessna 185 was registered to, and operated by, Talkeetna Air Taxi, Inc., Talkeetna, as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand commercial air tour, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Part 135, when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot and three of the four passengers sustained no injuries, with the fourth passenger sustaining minor injuries. The Cessna 172 was registered to Artic's Air Academy, LLC, Palmer, Alaska, and operated by the student pilot as a VFR cross-country flight under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. The student pilot, and sole occupant of the airplane, sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident. The Cessna 185 departed Talkeetna Airport about 1456 for a flight seeing tour around Denali National Park, and a VFR flight plan was on file. The Cessna 172 departed Palmer Airport, Palmer, about 1625, destined for Talkeetna airport with no flight plan on file. 

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on June 1, 2015, the pilot of the Cessna 185 stated that while approaching Talkeetna (TKA), he was the fifth commercial air tour airplane in sequence for landing. He remembered hearing the Cessna 172 make a radio transmission stating his position as 10 miles south of the airport, but did not remember any other transmissions. He also stated that he did not see the Cessna 172.

In an interview with the NTSB IIC and an FAA air safety inspector on June 4, 2015, the pilot of the Cessna 172 stated that he was conducting a solo cross-country flight from Palmer to Talkeetna when the accident occurred. As he approached the traffic pattern, he saw two airplanes operated by another commercial operator and heard them make a radio transmission that they were on final approach. After watching the two airplanes pass, the pilot turned onto the final approach segment of the traffic pattern. When he was in a position to land, he reduced power and added full flaps. Just before starting to flare, about 20-30 feet above the ground, he heard what he described as a loud "unworldly" sound. He felt the airplane get hit and pushed forward. At that point, the airplane descended at an estimated 45-degree angle until impact with the ground.

After the collision, both airplanes remained joined together during and after impact with the ground. The debris field was about 460 feet long with the initial fragments located about 62 feet prior to the runway threshold. The main wreckage came to rest about 5 feet off of the left side of the runway with the Cessna 185 on top of the Cessna 172.

Talkeetna Airport (TKA) is a public airport in Class E airspace between the hours of 1700-0500 universal coordinated time (UTC), and Class G airspace all other times. It is not served by an operating control tower. There are two main runways, 18 and 36, with 18 having a right traffic pattern and 36 having a left traffic pattern. An FAA Flight Service Station (FSS) is located on the airport property and provides local airport advisories to aircraft operating in the area. It was staffed with one air traffic control specialist at the time of the accident.

During a review of FAA FSS recordings of the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) 123.6, both airplanes can be heard transmitting position reports in relation to the airport traffic pattern. 

At 1706, AKD [0106:44 universal coordinated time (UTC)], the pilot of the Cessna 172 reported his position as 10 miles south of TKA and requested traffic advisories. The FSS replied advising pilot of four arrivals, three from the northwest and one from the west that was landing at the village strip. The three arrivals from the northwest were using the callsigns 5FK, 44Q, and 424KT.

About 1708:56, the pilot of N727KT reported being over "Chase," which is a visual flight rules (VFR) reporting point for TKA.

At 1709:50, the Cessna 185 pilot said "Talkeetna radio one six niner four mike is uh chase two thousand with kilo one eight and the traffic." FSS replied "November one six niner four mike Talkeetna radio thank you." "Chase" is a VFR reporting point located about 8 miles northwest of TKA.

At 1710:01, the Cessna 172 pilot reported his location as about 5 miles south with intentions to overfly the airport midfield at 2,500 feet and enter a right downwind traffic pattern leg for runway 18.

About 1710:39, the pilot of N320KT reported being over "chase."

At 1711:34, the Cessna 172 pilot stated that he was flying over midfield at 2,200 feet and would be entering the traffic pattern on a right downwind for runway 18.

At 1713:01, the Cessna 172 pilot reported that he was right downwind for runway 18.

At 1713:08, the Cessna 185 pilot reported "niner four mike's right base number two one eight," when actually he was number three in the sequence behind N727KT and N320KT.

About 1713:15, the pilot of N727KT reported clear of runway 18.

At 1714:15, the Cessna 172 pilot reported that he was "on base to final runway 18."

About 1714:22, the pilot of N320KT reported clear of runway 18.

At 1715:18, the FSS air traffic control specialist asks if the Cessna 185 is okay, after witnessing the collision between the Cessna 185 and the Cessna 172.

A transcript of the CTAF recording is located in the public docket for this accident.

A Garmin 296 handheld GPS was located in the wreckage of the Cessna 185. The unit was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington D.C. for examination. A NTSB electrical engineer was able to extract the GPS data for the accident flight, which included, in part: time, latitude, longitude, and GPS altitude. Groundspeed and course information were derived from the extracted parameters. The GPS data logs for May 31, 2015, revealed that the airplane entered the traffic pattern on a right base leg about 2.5 miles from the end of the runway.

The Alaska Supplement in effect on the day of the accident contained a statement for the Talkeetna Airport "See Section C notices for tfc pattern information." The Section C notice contained only a pictorial display of a right traffic pattern, but no reference to reporting points, including "Chase" or written description of non-standard traffic pattern entry procedures.

The Anchorage Sectional Aeronautical Chart with an effective date of May 28, 2015, displayed "Chase" and one other VFR waypoint for TKA. The sectional chart located in the aircraft of the Cessna 172 was the previous edition and was no longer current. This previous chart did not contain the VFR waypoints.

The FAA Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) recommends inbound pilots to non-towered airports announce their position 10 miles from the airport, entering the downwind leg, base leg, final approach leg and when exiting the runway. 14 CFR 91.113(g) states, in part: "When two or more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing, the aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way, but it shall not take advantage of this rule to cut in front of another which is on final approach to land or to overtake that aircraft."

The FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) states "Compliance with the basic rectangular traffic pattern reduces the possibility of conflicts at airports without an operating control tower." It further states "When entering the traffic pattern at an airport without an operating control tower, inbound pilots are expected to observe other aircraft already in the pattern and to conform to the traffic pattern in use." The Handbook recommends entering the traffic pattern at a 45° angle to the downwind leg of the runway to be utilized.

A flight track map overlay, and tabular data corresponding to the accident flight are available in the public docket for this accident.

The closest weather reporting facility is Talkeetna Airport, Talkeetna. At 1653, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at Talkeetna reported in part: wind 350 at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 78 degrees F; dew point 39 degrees F; altimeter 29.76 inHg.

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Midair collision (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 32,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s):
Airplane Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 1, 2014
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 14, 2015
Flight Time: 731.9 hours (Total, all aircraft), 28.1 hours (Total, this make and model), 641.2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 73.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 37.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N1694M
Model/Series: 185 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18501879
Landing Gear Type: 
Tailwheel; Ski/wheel Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 18, 2015 AAIP
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3525 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 38 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9267 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: CONTINENTAL
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-550D
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Operator 
Designator Code: TL7C

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PATK,356 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 00:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 210°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  / None
Wind Direction: 350° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.76 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Talkeetna, AK (TKA) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Talkeetna, AK (TKA) 
Type of Clearance: Traffic advisory
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 358 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18 IFR 
Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3500 ft / 75 ft VFR
Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 4 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 62.324722,-150.089172(est)


  1. VFR flying 101: see and avoid. The 185 pilot should have his ticket revoked. It is a MIRACLE this was not a 6-person fatality accident.

    1. The piggyback wreck was seven years ago. No clue if the current flipover is the same pilot. Betcha that the pilot that was in the C172 back then started wearing brown trousers just in case and bought lottery tickets after walking away from that mid-air!

  2. Don’t know about this one, but too many idiot pilots are flying around nowadays with GOPROs and tablets suction cupped to their windshields and windows. Midair’s waiting to happen.

  3. Student pilot followed procedures and was rear ended, poor guy. Low, low time charter pilot should have gotten his CFI to learn and develop some good flying habits and then instruct for a few years before playing professional pilot