NTSB Identification: ANC10FA029
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 23, 2010 in Homer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/17/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 206, registration: N522HA
Injuries: 2 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot departed on a scheduled passenger flight and, shortly after takeoff, about 300 feet above the ground, the engine began to run rough, lose power, and vibrate violently. He attempted to return to the runway, but, during the turn, the airplane impacted snow-covered terrain, coming to rest inverted about 500 feet from the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage. A postaccident examination revealed that the No. 4 engine cylinder head was cracked and separated from the cylinder barrel, resulting in the power loss. The pilot's decision to attempt to return to the departure runway with insufficient altitude, instead of landing in the 1,800 foot long clearway, precipitated a loss of control and impact with terrain, adding to the severity of the accident.

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

The fatigue failure of the No. 4 engine cylinder head resulting in a loss of engine power. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the pilot's decision to attempt a low altitude turn back to the airport, resulting in a loss of control.

Full narrative available

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