NTSB Identification: ANC02LA053A
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 19, 2002 in Ketchikan, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/2003
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-6-300, registration: N353PM
Injuries: 31 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.

A float-equipped deHavilland DHC-6, N235SA, was moored at a dock. The passengers were boarded, and the two pilots were finishing preflight duties. The airplane's engines were not running. Moored at the same dock, about four feet behind N235SA, was another float-equipped deHavilland DHC-6, N353PM. Both airplanes were being operated as sightseeing flights. The pilots of N353PM had completed their pretaxi checks, and the engines were running. The pilot in command of N353PM signaled the dockhand to disconnect the shore power. The dockhand disconnected the shore power, and without direction to do so, let go the mooring ropes. N353PM, under idle power, surged forward into the tail of N235SA. Both airplanes received substantial damage. Company procedures at the time of the accident directed the dockhand to wait for a signal from the pilot before letting go the mooring ropes. Post-accident the operation has been moved to a longer dock, to provide greater distance between airplanes. The procedure has been changed, and the first officer is now responsible for releasing the mooring ropes at the direction of the pilot.

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

The failure of a ground handler to follow company procedures/directives, and his premature release of a mooring line. Factors associated with the accident were the congested operations area, and the operator's failure to provide adequate safe zones for the airplanes.

Full narrative available

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