NTSB Identification: ANC09LA019
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Saturday, February 14, 2009 in Kotzebue, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/12/2009
Aircraft: CONSTRUCCIONES AERONAUTICAS SA C-212-CC, registration: N440RA
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 airline transport certificated captain and commercial certificated first officer were on a non-scheduled domestic cargo flight. The captain stated that while en route to the destination airport, the weather at the airport dropped below visual flight rules (VFR) minimums, and he received a special VFR clearance. He said that the local area and runway were covered with snow, but when he turned final he could see the airport beacon and associated buildings. He said about 200 feet above the ground on approach he lost sight of the runway environment, and asked the first officer if he could see anything. When the first officer said no, and reported their altitude at 50 feet agl, the captain said he initiated a go-around, but the airplane impacted the terrain short of the runway. The captain reported that there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane or its instruments prior to the accident. The Director of Operations for the operator said the airplane sustained structural damage to the fuselage near the left main landing gear. An Federal Aviation Administration flight service specialist at the airport said the visibility had been about 1-1/4 miles, but dropped to 1/4-mile rapidly during the time of the approach. Weather observations taken at the airport showed that about 3 minutes before the accident, the visibility was 1 mile in light snow and blowing snow, wind as 160 degrees at 28 knots gusting to 32. About 1 minute before the accident, the visibility was reported as 1/4-mile in light snow and blowing snow, wind from 160 degrees at 33 knots gusting to 36. About 3 minutes after the accident, the visibility remained at 1/4-mile in light snow and blowing snow, and the wind was reported as 170 degrees at 35 knots with gusts to 42.

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

The flight crew's decision to continue flight into adverse weather. Contributing to the accident was blowing snow which limited their visibility during final approach to land.

Full narrative available

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