NTSB Identification: ANC98LA018.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Friday, January 30, 1998 in PORT HEIDEN, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 208A, registration: N9316F
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 pilot departed in visual meteorological conditions of three to four miles visibility with high ceilings. He stated the airplane encountered freezing rain about five miles south of the airport while in cruise flight at 1,200 feet msl, and rapidly accumulated ice on the airframe, wings, and windshield. The pilot said he initially changed altitude in an attempt to exit the icing conditions. Ice accumulation continued, so he elected to return. While maneuvering to land at the airport, the airplane was unable to maintain altitude at full engine power. He said that any angle of bank resulted in the onset of prestall buffet, so he decided to land on a frozen lake south of the airport. He said that the airplane did not reach the lake, 'mushed into the ground,' and during the flare/touchdown, the left wing stalled. The pilot did not have access to the official weather prior to departure. The National Weather Service contracted observer, made his observation from a location about five miles south of the official weather station at the airport. The FAA AWOS-3 was inoperative. Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed a 1/2 inch layer of clear ice covering all the upper and lower airfoil surfaces of the airplane, from leading edges to between 1/3 and 1/2 of the chords. All antennas were coated with approximately 1/2 inch of clear ice. The airplane was not equipped with ice protection equipment except for pitot heat and windshield heat.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight decision resulting in airframe ice accumulation to the extent that degraded aircraft performance and insufficient airspeed occurred followed by a stall. Contributing factors were freezing rain and icing conditions.

Full narrative available

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