On June 6, 1993, at 1415 Alaska daylight time (ADT), a float equipped Cessna model A185E airplane, N70020, operated by Stephan Lake Lodge, collided with terrain shortly after departure from the Lake Hood Seaplane Airport in Anchorage, Alaska. The commercial certificated pilot in command, the sole occupant, received minor injuries and the airplane was destroyed. At the time of the mishap, the airplane was being operated as a business flight under 14 CFR Part 91 for the purpose of transporting supplies to the lodge in preparation for the arrival of seasonal guests. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a company VFR flight plan was in effect.

The pilot provided the following information to the NTSB investigator in charge during the on scene investigation. In preparation for the departure he conducted a preflight and before takeoff check and found the plane's systems to be in proper working order. Twenty gallons of aviation low lead fuel was added to the plane's left wing fuel tank. He estimated that at the time the takeoff was commenced, the total fuel on board the airplane was approximately 40 gallons - 25 gallons in the left tank and 15 gallons in the right tank. The plane's cargo weighed approximately 700 pounds and was comprised of miscellaneous canned goods, four automobile batteries, one 15 hp outboard motor, one 50 pound bag of flour and 50 pounds of sugar. The cargo was distributed in the passenger and cargo compartments. He commenced an upwind takeoff with one notch of flaps (approximately 10 degrees). The takeoff run and initial climbout was uneventful. At an altitude of about 500 feet above the ground, he began a standard left downwind turn toward the north/northeast. He did not recall specifically what the indicated climb airspeed was, but that based upon the attitude of the airplane it should have been in the neighborhood of 100 miles per hour. During the turn, the airplane began to descend despite the application of maximum engine power. The engine had about 200 hours on it and it ran fine. He turned the airplane back into the wind and selected another notch of flaps (20 degrees total) but the airplane continued to descend and subsequently collided with the tree and scrub covered terrain. .


There were no witnesses to the accident.


The pilot, dob 11/10/1937, is the holder of commercial pilot certificate No. 2207905, with ratings and limitations of single engine land and sea, instrument airplane. His second class medical dated 02/22/93, required the possession of corrective glasses for near vision. He completed a Biennial Flight Review in a Piper PA-11 aircraft on 05/29/93. At the time of the accident, the pilot had accrued a total flight time of 1,530 hours of which 600 hours were in the Cessna 185 aircraft. His flight time during the previous 90 day period was 6.5 hours (2 hours in C185), 30 day period 4.7 hours (2 hours in C185), and 24 hour period 1 hour (in C185).


The pilot characterized the weather as sky clear, visibility unrestricted, and a southeast wind with light turbulence. The 1418 local surface weather observation (SA) for the Anchorage International Airport was sky condition 5,000 scattered, ceiling estimated 14,000 broken, visibility 60 miles, temperature 57F, dewpoint 40F, wind 160 degrees magnetic, wind speed 18 knots, gust 24 knots. No Airmets or Notams were issued or received for the area during the period in which the accident occurred.


The accident site is approximately 1/4 mile north of the approach end of runway 31 at the Lake Hood Strip. The plane's structure was found intact and all parts and components were accounted for. The fuselage came to rest in a near horizontal plane with the right wing up approximately 45 degrees (see photographs). Continuity was established with the respective flight control and powerplant systems. The flap control lever was found in the second notch detente (approximately 20 degrees) and the flap surfaces coincided with the setting selected. An examination of the powerplant showed no evidence of external damage. The engine exhibited no sight of having sustained either internal or external damage. The engine was turned through with the aid of the propeller. The only resistance felt was the resistance produced by the piston compression cycles. A subsequent cylinder compress check and magneto timing check revealed the engine to be within the required limits and specification. A light odor of aviation fuel permeated the accident site. The left and right wing tanks appeared to have remained intact. No visible sign of fuel was evident in the right wing tank. While removing the left wing fuel cap, fuel began flowing out around the cap so the process was halted and the cap was secured. The cargo was strewn throughout the interior of the plane.


The cargo was removed and weighed by the NTSB and FAA investigators on scene. The total weight of the cargo was 849 pounds. It was not possible to ascertain the exact location of each cargo item. The following information was used to determine the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident.

Item Weight/Lbs.

Acft. Empty Wt. With Edo 3430 Floats From June 03, 1992 Acft Log Book Entry: 2,376

Pilot Wt. 137

Fuel (40galx6lb.p/gal) 240

Cargo 849

Total Wt. Of Acft. 3,602 The maximum allowable gross takeoff weight of the airplane was 3,350 pounds.

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