NTSB Identification: ANC14FA022
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 08, 2014 in Kwethluk, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B, registration: N126AR
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
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 April 8, 2014 at 1556 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 208B Caravan airplane, N126AR, was destroyed after impacting terrain about 22 miles southeast of Kwethluk, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by Hageland Aviation Services, Inc., dba RAVN Connect, Anchorage, Alaska as a visual flight rules (VFR) training flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The two crew members on board were fatally injured. Day, visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and company flight following procedures were in effect. The local training flight departed from the Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska at 1522.
About 1745, personnel from Hageland Aviation in Bethel notified the Hageland Operational Control Center (OCC) in Palmer, Alaska that the accident airplane was overdue. At 1754, the OCC initiated a call to the Kenai Flight Service to initiate search and rescue operations. A company airplane was dispatched from Bethel to assist in the search, and at 1839 that airplane visually confirmed that the accident airplane had crashed. The Alaska State Troopers in Bethel, assisted by the Alaska Army National Guard arrived at the accident scene at 2105, and confirmed that both pilots had died at the scene.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), an inspector from the Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), an investigator from Textron Aviation, and a representative of the operator traveled to the accident scene on the morning of April 10.
The main wreckage was in an area of level, heavily wooded terrain situated along a river, at an elevation of approximately 75 feet mean sea level (msl). From the initial point of impact, the airplane traveled approximately 180 feet before coming to rest in an upright position. The majority of the fuselage was consumed by a post impact fire. An on-scene documentation of the wreckage was completed, and a detailed wreckage examination is pending, following recovery of the airplane.
The accident airplane was not equipped, nor was it required to be equipped with, a cockpit voice recorder (CVR), or a flight data recorder (FDR). The accident airplane was equipped with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology. In typical applications, the ADS-B capable aircraft uses an ordinary Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to derive its precise position from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellation, and then combines that position with any number of aircraft parameters, such as speed, heading, altitude and flight number. This information is then simultaneously broadcast to other ADS-B capable aircraft, and to ADS-B ground, or satellite communications transceivers, which then relay the aircraft's position and additional information to Air Traffic Control centers in real time.
A preliminary review of ADS-B data archived by the Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) showed that the accident airplane was transmitting data for the accident flight, and the airplane was flying at an altitude of approximately 3,400 feet mean seal level (msl) when a fluctuation in altitude, followed by an initial upset occurred. The airplane continued a rapid and steep descent until ground impact. A detailed NTSB analysis of the ADS-B data is pending.
The nearest official reporting station is the Bethel Airport (PABE), about 27 miles northeast of the accident site. About 3 minutes before the accident, at 1553, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting: Wind, 020 degrees (True) at 8 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; sky condition, clear; temperature, 19 degrees F; dew point, 3 degrees F; altimeter, 28.87 inches Hg.
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