NTSB Identification: ANC13FA058
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 28, 2013 in Cantwell, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/08/2014
Aircraft: BEECH 95-B55, registration: N5JG
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
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 accident pilot was the organizer of 18 airplanes participating in a group sight-seeing tour of remote Alaskan locations. The 18 airplanes were divided into two groups, and each group had a leader. The accident airplane served as a separate leader for the entire group and departed about 10 minutes before the other two groups to make arrangements at their next destination and to check weather along their intended route of flight, which took them through a mountain pass.
One of the group leader pilots reported that, as he approached the mountain pass, weather conditions began to deteriorate with low clouds, haze, and restricted visibility. He subsequently received a radio broadcast from another airplane in the area, which indicated that the mountain pass was not open due to poor weather conditions, so he chose to land his group at a nearby airport. The other group leader pilot stated that, after hearing that the first group was going to land at the nearby airport, he also chose to land his group there.
The accident airplane’s fragmented wreckage was discovered near the summit of the mountain pass in an area of brush and tundra-covered terrain at an elevation of about 2,370 feet mean sea level near the area where the second group leader turned around. A pilot-rated witness standing on the ground about the time of the accident stated that he observed an airplane flying in and out of the clouds at an altitude of about 400 feet above ground level (agl). Weather at the time of the accident was broken clouds about 250 to 300 feet agl, overcast clouds about 350 feet agl, with thin wispy fog hanging in the trees.
Postaccident examination of the airframe and engines revealed no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Given the lack of mechanical anomalies, the reported weather conditions, the two group leader pilot statements, and the witness statement, it is likely that the accident pilot continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in an in-flight collision with mountainous terrain.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in an in-flight collision with mountainous terrain.
Full narrative available
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