NTSB Identification: SEA91FA216.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45168.
Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 20, 1991 in KETCHIKAN, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1992
Aircraft: PILATUS BRITTEN-NORMAN BN-2A-26 ISLANDER, registration: N68HA
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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.

APPROXIMATELY 3/4 OF AN HOUR AFTER DEPARTING FOR WRANGELL, ALASKA, THE PILOT OF THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED COMMUTER FLIGHT CONTACTED COMPANY DISPATCH APPROXIMATELY 30 MILES FROM KETCHIKAN, AND REPORTED THAT HE WAS RETURNING DUE TO WEATHER. SHORTLY THEREAFTER, THE PILOT COMMUNICATED WITH ANOTHER COMPANY PILOT FLYING IN THE SAME VICINITY AND BOTH PILOTS DESCRIBED THE WEATHER AT THEIR RESPECTIVE LOCATIONS AS 'MARGINAL'. WEATHER CONDITINS AT THE KETCHIKAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (18 NAUTICAL MILES FROM THE CRASH SITE) AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT WERE CHARACTERIZED BY LOW CEILINGS, MULTIPLE CLOUD LAYERS AND REDUCED (3 MILE) VISIBILITIES WITH LIGHT RAIN. THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH TREES/RISING TERRAIN AT 800 FEET MSL WHILE IN A NEAR LEVEL FLIGHT PATH HEADED EAST SOUTHEAST. RIGHT WINGTIP IMPACT SIGNATURES INDICATED A VERY SHALLOW RIGHT WING DOWN/NOSE UP ATTITUDE AT THE INITIAL TREE IMPACTS.

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

THE PILOT'S ATTEMPTING TO OPERATE VFR IN INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE UPSLOPING TERRAIN IN THE AIRCRAFT'S FLIGHT PATH AS WELL AS WEATHER CONDITIONS RESULTING IN AN OBSCURATION OF THE TERRAIN.

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