HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On December 3, 1994 at 0730 Alaska standard time, a wheel equipped Cessna 206 airplane, N5282U, registered to Vern L Loftstedt of Kenai, Alaska and operated by South Central Air also of Kenai, disappeared during a flight from Kenai to Homer, Alaska. The non-scheduled air taxi flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 135, departed Kenai at 0655. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed and the destination was Homer. Kenai and Homer had visual meteorological conditions, however, there were snow showers en route. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the presumed accident area based upon the last radar returns provided by Anchorage Center. The airline transport certificated pilot, the sole occupant, is missing and presumed fatal. The airplane has not been recovered and is presumed to have crashed into Cook Inlet near Anchor Point, Alaska.
According to information provided by the Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center, they tracked an aircraft that departed the Kenai Airport at the time the accident airplane departed. The airplane was "squawking code 1200" until 3 miles south of Kenai. The radar returns then became primary target returns. The primary target returns were followed and the returns ceased approximately 1 to 2 miles off shore near Anchor Point abeam Happy Valley. The airplane never reached Homer. Search and Rescue has not produced any wreckage or ELT signals.
There are no known witnesses to the accident
INJURIES TO PERSONS
The Pilot is presumed to have received fatal injuries. The body has not been recovered.
DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT
The airplane is presumed to have crashed into Cook Inlet and no wreckage has been recovered.
The 32 year old Pilot was the holder of an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate with an Airplane Multiengine land rating.
He held commercial privileges for airplane single engine land and sea and rotorcraft-helicopter. He also had a type rating, ATP level, in the BA-3100 airplane.
According to the airplane logbook records, the airplane was on a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Approved Aircraft Inspection Program. The last entry showed an inspection was accomplished on 11/18/94 with a total tachometer time of 2673.5 hours. The entry showed a total engine time since overhaul of 1025.3 hours, and 689.3 hours since overhaul for the propeller.
The airplane was equipped with a Continental IO-520F engine, serial number 2445562R. The engine was overhauled on 11/17/93 and had a total time since new of 3244.9 hours.
The airplane was equipped with a McCauley propeller, hub serial number 770422, and blade serial numbers K84138YS, K84824YS, and K84890YS. The logbook records show the propeller was overhauled by Dominion Propeller Corporation and installed on N5282U on 10/18/93.
According to Kenai Automated Flight Service Station, the Pilot received a weather briefing through the Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS). The Pilot indicated the route of flight to be briefed as Kenai to Homer, direct. A direct route of flight from Kenai to Homer follows a 160 degree magnetic course.
The DUATS system showed the Kenai weather at 0546 as Measured 5000 overcast, 5 miles visibility with light snow, temperature 20 degrees fahrenheit, dewpoint 18 degrees fahrenheit, wind from 020 degrees at 8 knots, altimeter setting 29.71 inches of mercury. The remarks section showed conditions lower to the southeast and higher to the northeast.
The Homer weather, hourly observation taken at 0555 showed 1500 feet scattered, estimated 4500 feet overcast, visibility 12 miles, temperature 37 degrees fahrenheit, dewpoint, 31 degrees fahrenheit, wind from 160 degrees at 12 knots, altimeter setting 29.65 inches of mercury. Homer is located approximately 15 miles east of the presumed accident area.
The DUATS system showed the pilot there were adverse weather conditions available for viewing. The Pilot selected the option to not view the adverse weather conditions.
The route of flight, shown by the Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center primary target information which coincided with the departure time of the accident airplane, was down the shoreline of Cook Inlet. This route aligns with a magnetic heading of 180 degrees.
Search and rescue pilots reported many snow showers in the area between Kenai and Homer during their search for the airplane.
The terminal forecasts for Kenai showed occasional visibility to 1 mile in light snow, and for some visibility down to 3 miles in light rain and fog.
AIDS TO NAVIGATION
The nearest aids to navigation were the Homer VORTAC, located 15 nautical miles east of the presumed accident location, the Kenai VOR/DME located 54 nautical miles north, and the Soldotna Non Directional Beacon located 51 nautical miles north.
The Homer airport is also equipped with an ILS/DME localizer only approach as well as a back course approach.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
No wreckage has been recovered.