On August 29, 1993, at approximately 1725 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Cessna 185 airplane, N70087, operated by Yukon Air Service of Fort Yukon, Alaska, collided with the terrain near the 7000 foot level of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska. The accident site was near the headwaters of the Hulahula and the Sheenjuk rivers, ll0 miles southeast of Deadhorse on the Arctic Ocean. The commercial pilot, sole occupant and operator of Yukon Air Service, a CFR Part 135 on-demand air carrier, was fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The airplane had departed Fort Yukon on a VFR flight plan and carried passengers to a remote camp on the Upper Colleen River, at 68 05 04N, 144 57 18W. The airplane was reported to have departed that camp at 1600. At 1715, it passed another camp on the Upper Sheenjuk River and radioed a message to guide Joe Want about the flight progress. Mr. Want recalled the pilot to have said, "it didn't look good ahead, (and) if I don't make it (through the pass to the Hulahula River headwaters), I'll come back. No other communications with the accident airplane are known. The destination was a gravel bar known as Grasser's Strip at 69 05N, 145 33W. Mr. Want reported the weather in the area on the day of the accident to be visual meteorological conditions with mountain top obscuration in clouds at about the 7000 foot level.
The airplane was missing for 8 days and was the subject of an extensive air search. The accident site was located by a Canning Air Cessna 185, on a snowfield in a 20 degree upward sloping ravine leading to the 7000 foot pass.
Shortly after the aircraft wreckage was sighted, a contract US Forest Service helicopter landed at the site and confirmed that there were no survivors and that only the pilot was on board at the time of the crash. A fire which consumed the airplane had burned into the glacial snow and then was covered by approximately 18 inches of fresh snow. The remains of the pilot-in-command were found to be in the cockpit of the airplane.
Alaska State Trooper and FAA investigators reached the scene and located all parts of the aircraft. Investigators found the propeller hub mounting flange and studs to show torsion and shear failure, detaching that flange from the engine.
The new snow had covered the mountain pass and the investigative team were not able to discern impact marks in the high mountain pass near the wreckage. The ceiling and visibility at the time of the accident at the site is unknown.
The deceased pilot was the sole proprietor of the 14 CFR Part 135 operation and no NTSB Form 6120.1/2 was provided for the investigative files.