On January 17, 1997, about 1430 Alaska standard time, a wheel equipped Cessna 207A airplane, N9603M, owned and operated by Alaska Central Express, sustained substantial damage when it collided with rising terrain in instrument meteorological weather conditions, about 6 miles northeast of Tununak, Alaska. The solo commercial certificated pilot received serious injury. The all cargo, on demand 14 CFR Part 135 air taxi flight departed Bethel, Alaska, at 1329. The intended destination was Tununak, with an eventual return to Bethel. A company visual flight rules flight plan was in effect.

The pilot reported he was flying southeast, generally along the shoreline of the Bering Sea, in good visual flight rules meteorological conditions. As he approached closer to Tununak, the weather conditions deteriorated. He was attempting to decide which direction to turn to circumnavigate the lowering clouds and mist, when he flew into clouds and fog. He saw terrain about 50 feet below and to the left (east). He pulled up and started a turn to the north, but struck rising terrain about 1,000 feet msl.

Villagers from Tununak started a search on snow machines for the pilot soon after the accident. He was located by the villagers, and taken to Tununak for initial treatment.

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