ANC98LA009
ANC98LA009

On October 31, 1997, about 1540 Alaska standard time, a wheel/ski equipped Cessna 185F, N61500, sustained substantial damage during an aborted takeoff from a remote camp, about 83 miles southeast of Barrow, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand passenger flight under Title 14 CFR Part 135 when the accident occurred. The airplane was registered to and operated by Cape Smythe Air Service Inc., Barrow. The certificated commercial pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. VFR company flight following procedures were in effect.

The operator reported the pilot was departing with the skis selected. The camp airstrip, known locally as Chip 12, is 1,200 feet long. The pilot calculated a required takeoff distance of 800 feet. During the takeoff run in an uphill direction, the airplane skis encountered sandy surface conditions, and the airplane did not accelerate as anticipated. The takeoff run was continued beyond the end of the runway, onto the frozen surface of the Chip River. The pilot decided to abort the takeoff, and closed the throttle. The airplane collided with the river bank, and received damage to the landing gear and wings.

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