NTSB Identification: ANC12FA073
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 10, 2012 in Homer, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA U206G, registration: N206VR
Injuries: 1 Fatal,4 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.
On July 10, 2012, about 2206 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped Cessna 206 airplane, N206VR, sustained substantial damage while landing on Beluga Lake, Homer, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. Of the five occupants onboard, the commercial pilot and three passengers sustained minor injuries, and one passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at the Sixmile Lake Seaplane Base, Anchorage, Alaska, and it had completed a planned dinner stop in Kenai, Alaska, before continuing on to Homer, the flight's final destination for the day.
During an on-scene interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on July 11, the pilot said his southerly approach to Beluga Lake was normal, but the air was turbulent during the descent. He estimated the wind conditions at Beluga Lake to be 130 degrees, at 10 knots, with peak gust between 12 to 14 knots. The pilot reported that while landing to the south, just after touchdown, a gust of wind lifted the left wing, and the right wing struck the water. The airplane nosed over abruptly, and the cabin immediately filled with cold lake water. The pilot stated there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.
During a separate on-scene interview with the NTSB IIC on July 11, a passenger that was in a second row seat, on the right side of the airplane, reported that he and three other occupants struggled to escape the sinking wreckage through the aft, right-side door, but it was difficult to open since the airplane’s flaps were in the down position, which blocked the upper portion of the door. He said that eventually he was able to force the door open slightly, and then he and the other three occupants were able to escape the submerged airplane through a 10 to 12-inch gap in the doorway. After all four exited the airplane, they realized that one passenger was still within the submerged wreckage, and they attempted to get back into the cabin area to search for her. The passenger also reported that while sitting atop the submerged and inverted fuselage, he used his feet and legs to force the door open, and the door suddenly opened.
Once rescuers were able to gain access to the cabin area, they were able to free the unconscious and unresponsive passenger from her third row, left side seat. The passenger was found restrained in her seat, with the seatbelt fastened.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage during the accident.
The closest weather reporting facility was the Homer Airport, about 1 mile west of the accident site. About 13 minutes before the accident, at 2153, a weather observation from the Homer Airport was reporting, in part: Wind, 140 degrees, at 14 knots, gusting to 25 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, 4,800 feet broken, 6,000 feet broken, 7,000 feet overcast, temperature, 53 degrees F; dew point 43 degrees F; altimeter, 29.92 inHG.
At the time of the accident, a pilot-rated witness standing on the southeastern shoreline of Beluga Lake reported strong and gusty wind conditions, out of the northeast, estimated at 20 to 25 knots.
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