NTSB Identification: ANC97FA051A
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 09, 1997 in TATITLEK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 185, registration: N59AK
Injuries: 2 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The two airplanes collided while engaged in fish spotting in a rural area of Alaska. The pilot and observer of the Cessna 185, N59AK, said they were cruising over water at 2,000 feet msl in straight and level flight, about to exit a bay. They said they did not see the other airplane until an instant before impact, and that the Bellanca, N5025K, seemed to approach them from slightly below, and slightly to the right, or about their 1 o'clock position. The pilot related that he does not recall a conscious effort to avoid the collision, but that he probably 'instinctively' pulled back on the wheel. The Bellanca fell nearly straight into the sea. The Cessna pilot said the right float was slashed by the Bellanca's propeller. A portion of the Bellanca's right wing fuel tank was found imbedded in the right float of the Cessna. Both airplanes have high wings. The pilot of the Cessna said the weather was clear and sunny, with reflected sunglare from the water and snow covered mountains.

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

The command pilots of both airplanes inadequate visual outlook which led to their failure to see and avoid each other's airplane. A factor associated with the accident was sunglare.

Full narrative available

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