NTSB Identification: ANC05LA085.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Sunday, June 12, 2005 in Skwentna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Cessna U206F, registration: N51205
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 commercial certificated pilot was on a 14 CFR Part 135 air taxi cargo flight transporting a load of plywood in an external rack that was attached to the belly of the fixed tricycle gear-equipped airplane. During cruise flight at 1,500 feet msl, he noticed the smell of smoke in the cockpit. He flew towards a river as flames entered the cabin of the airplane, and made an emergency landing on a gravel bar. He jumped from the airplane during the landing roll, and the airplane continued to roll until it struck a log and nosed over, with the fire still burning. Passing aircraft saw smoke in the area, and then spotted the airplane and the pilot in the river outside of the airplane. A helicopter pilot was nearby and responded to the scene. The pilot was airlifted to a local hospital by the helicopter pilot. According to the FAA, no records were found that the operator had an external load authorization. No records were found indicating that the airplane had a restricted category authorization for external loads, nor any authorization for installation of the external lumber rack.

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

The pilot's improper loading of externally carried lumber that caught fire due to exposure to hot exhaust gases during cruise flight, which resulted in an emergency descent/landing and subsequent collision with a gravel bar. A factor contributing to the accident was the operator's lack of FAA approval for the external lumber rack that was installed under the belly of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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