On August 25, 1997, about 1158 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire equipped Cessna 185F airplane, N20752, crashed during landing at a remote area, about 61 miles east of Barrow, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) positioning flight under Title 14 CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The airplane, operated by Cape Symthe Air Service Inc., Barrow, sustained substantial damage. The certificated commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Wiley Post/Will Rogers Memorial Airport, Barrow, at 1122.

The operator reported the flight departed for a small fishing camp to pick up several passengers. On August 27, 1997, at 0935, the pilot reported in a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), he was landing in an area of wet tundra that contained small patches of snow. The area for the landing was oriented east/west. The pilot was landing toward the west, and indicated the wind was from the north at 20 to 25 knots. During the landing roll, the airplane began to veer to right. The pilot's application of left brake did not correct the turn. The airplane ground looped, and the left wing struck the ground.

The closest official weather observation station is Barrow, Alaska, which is located 61 nautical miles west of the accident site. On August 25, 1997, at 1154, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: Wind, 070 degrees (true) at 24 knots, gusts to 30 knots; visibility, 7 statute miles; clouds, 1,500 feet overcast; temperature, 32 degrees F; dew point, 24 degrees F; altimeter, 30.04 inHg; remarks, peak wind, 070 degrees at 31 knots, gusts to 37 knots, breaks in the overcast.

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