NTSB Identification: ANC00LA008.
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Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 27, 1999 in BETHEL, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 207, registration: N207SE
Injuries: 2 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 commercial certificated pilot arrived at his company offices and conducted a preflight inspection of the accident airplane at 0815 in preparation for a VFR scheduled domestic passenger flight to a remote village. The flight was delayed due to poor weather conditions that included visibilities between 1/2 to 3/4 mile in mist and freezing fog. The ceiling varied between 100 feet, to 1,100 feet. During the delay, two company representatives were in the dispatch office. When the weather conditions improved to 500 feet broken, and a visibility of 4 miles in patchy fog, the pilot departed at 1309 with a Special VFR clearance. The pilot encountered worsening weather about 4 miles from the airport, and decided to return. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the Class E airspace around the airport, and the pilot had to hold, out of the surface area awaiting a Special VFR clearance. Once cleared into the surface area, the pilot said he could not see the runway because the windshield of the airplane was iced over. He could see hangars out the side window. The pilot decided to proceed toward the southeast and began a left turn, but said the engine began to run rough and lose power. The pilot said that application of full power was unable to prevent the airplane from losing altitude. He lowered the flaps in preparation for an emergency landing, and the airplane touched down on snow-covered terrain. During the landing, the nose gear was sheared off, and the right wing received rib damage to the outboard end. At the accident scene, an FAA inspector noted about 1/8 inch of ice on the airplane. Three minutes before the accident, the weather conditions at the airport included a visibility of four miles in light snow and patchy fog; sky condition, 100 feet scattered, 400 feet overcast, with occasional localized lower visibility, and the ceiling varyied between 300 to 600 feet. Examination of the airplane after the accident did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunction. The engine produced 2,750 rpm on an engine test stand.

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

The pilot's inadequate evaluation of the weather, and his decision to initiate flight into adverse weather conditions. Factors in the accident were adverse weather consisting of low ceilings and icing conditions, inadequate supervision by company management, and airframe icing.

Full narrative available

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