NTSB Identification: ANC11FA071B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 30, 2011 in Talkeetna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 180B, registration: N5214E
Injuries: 4 Fatal,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.

Two float-equipped, high-wing airplanes, a Cessna 206 and a Cessna 180, collided in midair in day visual meteorological conditions near a remote lake, which was the destination for both airplanes. The Cessna 206 pilot stated that he was maneuvering for landing after completing a right 270-degree turn, which positioned the airplane for a left downwind approach for landing to the northeast. The Cessna 180 was flying northbound and presumably also on a left downwind approach for landing to the northeast. The airplanes were about 900 feet above ground level when the collision occurred. The pilot of the Cessna 206 said he saw the Cessna 180 approaching from the right, and he made an immediate climbing left turn just before the collision. The Cessna 180 descended vertically to the ground. The Cessna 206 continued to fly and landed safely with the outboard portion of the Cessna 180’s left wing entangled in its floats. Neither pilot was in communication with any air traffic control facility. The airplanes were operating in uncontrolled airspace.

The Cessna 206 pilot reported that he was monitoring 122.8 MHz, the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for the area. A pilot-rated relative of the Cessna 180 pilot said the pilot monitored 122.9 MHz on previous flights, which was the MULTICOM frequency used for off-airport operations.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration-approved CTAF radio frequencies used in the area revealed equivocal language regarding which CTAF radio frequency should be used. Additionally, due to a high concentration of aerodromes in the area, many of the frequency boundaries overlap.

Given the reports of the radio frequencies that were monitored by both pilots, it is likely that, had both pilots been announcing their intentions on the same frequency, both pilots would have had increased awareness of the presence of the other airplane.

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

The inadequate visual lookout and failure to see and avoid by the pilots of both airplanes while maneuvering to land, which resulted in a midair collision. Contributing to the accident was the lack of standardized, unequivocal procedures concerning common traffic advisory frequencies used in the area.

Full narrative available

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