NTSB Identification: ANC96LA051.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 17, 1996 in WHITTIER, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 206G, registration: N244PL
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The certificated airline transport pilot and a passenger were attempting to cross a glacier covered mountain pass during a VFR on-demand charter flight in a single engine amphibious float equipped airplane. The pilot had flown the same route several times throughout the day and planned to take a look at the weather conditions to assess the feasibility of crossing the pass. As the flight approached the pass, the visibility began decreasing in light rain drizzle and haze. The pilot began to turn away from the pass but then recognized a known glacier, about 2 miles from his position. The airplane then entered a whiteout condition. The pilot indicated that he lowered the wing flaps and entered a 40 degree bank to the right to begin a 180 degree turn away from the pass. About 2 seconds later, the airplane collided with snow covered terrain. The passenger reported that as the flight approached the pass, the forward visibility decreased to zero in clouds. The airplane collided with rising terrain to the left of the pass area.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Factors in the accident were low ceilings and whiteout conditions.

Full narrative available

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