NTSB Identification: ANC04LA018.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Friday, January 02, 2004 in Koyukuk, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N45008
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 Title 14, CFR Part 135 cargo flight departed for a destination airport about 20 miles downriver. Although weather at the departure airport was VFR, no reports of the actual weather along the route of flight were available. Unable to locate the destination airport due to deteriorating weather conditions, the pilot attempted to return to the departure airport following the river for ground reference. The airplane entered fog and whiteout weather conditions, and collided in-flight with the frozen surface of the river.

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

The pilot's continued flight into adverse weather conditions, and his failure to maintain clearance from terrain, which resulted in an in-flight collision with terrain. Factors associated with the accident were fog and whiteout weather conditions.

Full narrative available

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