NTSB Identification: ANC06LA074.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 21, 2006 in Bettles, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 185F, registration: N94204
Injuries: 2 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 airline transport certificated pilot and the sole passenger were departing to the south from a seaplane base in a float-equipped airplane, under Title 14, CFR part 91. Winds were reported to be 230 degrees (true) at 8 knots, with gusts to 14 knots. A witness who saw the airplane begin the takeoff run said that as the airplane continued its takeoff run towards the south, it "staggered into the air near the south end of the lake, then turned east, away from an area of slight rising terrain, and downwind." She said that the nose of the airplane then pitched sharply to the right, then to the left, and descended nose first, behind several trees. Postaccident investigation revealed that the airplane came to rest nose down in swampy terrain. No mechanical anomalies were noted with the airframe, engine, or engine accessories. The pilot noted in his written statement to the NTSB that just after takeoff, he began a slight turn to the east to avoid the rising terrain, and encountered a decreasing windshear. He said that the airplane stalled, and crashed at a point between the waterline and the trees. He stated that there were no preaccident mechanical problems with the airplane, and noted that he believed the four-point seat and shoulder harness restraint system in the airplane saved their lives.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during takeoff, which resulted in an inadvertent stall and collision with terrain. Factors contributing to the accident were the inadvertent stall, and an unfavorable wind.

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