NTSB Identification: ANC13LA029
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 06, 2013 in Bethel, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA 207, registration: N1704U
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 6, 2013, about 1730 Alaska standard time, a Cessna 207 airplane, N1704U, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing on snow-covered tundra about 16 miles northeast of Bethel, Alaska. The airplane was operated as Flight 595, by Yute Air Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, as a visual flight rules (VFR), scheduled passenger/cargo flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. The airline transport pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and the airplane was operating on a company VFR flight plan. The flight had departed Bethel about 1718, en route to Kalskag, Alaska.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on March 6, the director of operations for Yute Air Alaska reported that the flight, with two passengers and cargo aboard departed Bethel, destined for Kalskag. The pilot reported that about 15 minutes after departure, the engine made a "very loud and unusual whining" noise, which was followed by a partial loss of engine power. The pilot reported the problem to his dispatcher via the company radio frequency, and began a turn toward a frozen pond for an emergency landing. During the turn, all engine power was subsequently lost and he selected an area of snow-covered terrain, which contained tress, as a forced landing site. Just prior to touchdown, the left stabilizer struck the tops of small trees, resulting in substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer. After touchdown the nose tire and fork broke free of the airplane.

The airplane was equipped with a Continental Motors IO-520 engine. A preliminary examination of the engine by company maintenance personnel revealed a crack in the crankcase. Further examination is pending the recovery of the airplane.

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