NTSB Identification: ANC99LA155.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 06, 1999 in NIKOLAI, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 182, registration: N1881X
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 solo private pilot was attempting to takeoff from a gravel bar with buffalo meat from a successful hunt. The airplane collided with a smaller gravel bar, sustaining substantial damage to the left wing, left horizontal stabilizer, left elevator, tail cone, and engine firewall. The left elevator was missing the outboard six inches, and the left elevator horn and balance weight. The Alaska State Trooper who discovered and documented the airplane the day after the accident, interviewed the pilot's hunting partner. The partner told the trooper the pilot said that during takeoff the wind died, he lost ground effect, and the sun was in his eyes. The trooper documented tire tracks on the large bar leading to the river's edge, and tracks on the smaller bar ending at the airplane. The pilot told the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) that he landed on the smaller gravel bar the day prior to the accident, and the damage occurred while he was taxiing. A pilot who transported the accident pilot to a landing strip where he could arrange repairs told the NTSB IIC that the accident pilot taxied the airplane to the smaller gravel bar, across the 75 feet wide by 3 feet deep stretch of river at low water, and that the water level had risen. The trooper told the NTSB IIC that it did not appear possible to taxi an airplane between the two gravel bars.

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

The pilot's selection of an unsuitable takeoff and landing area. Factors associated with this accident were the unfavorable winds, and sunglare.

Full narrative available

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