On August 22, 1999, about 1330 Alaska daylight time, a float equipped Cessna 206 airplane, N5446X, sustained substantial damage during an in-flight collision with terrain, about 39 miles east of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska, at latitude 68 degrees, 02.529 minutes north, and longitude 150 degrees, 01.672 minutes west. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The private certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area of the accident. A VFR, round-robin flight plan was filed. The flight originated from a remote lake about 1315.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on August 23, 1999, the pilot reported he and his son were hunting and camping at a small lake about 25 miles southwest of Galbraith Lakes, Alaska, for a week before the accident flight. He said he departed the lake, elevation 2,500 feet msl, and began flying south along the Itkillik River. He indicated a light rain was falling at the time, and he was orienting his position by pilotage, using a sectional map, and a topographic map. He said he became disoriented to his exact position, and turned into a small valley that was about five miles north of where he thought he was. The terrain was rising, and he initiated a climb through 4,300 feet msl. Rain began to fall harder and the valley became too narrow to turn around. He said clouds began to close around the airplane as he climbed to 5,300 feet msl. The terrain continued to rise, and he noticed his airspeed was decreasing until the stall horn sounded. Shortly thereafter, he said the airplane collided with rising, open terrain, the floats were sheared off the airframe, and the wings, propeller, and fuselage were damaged.

The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) activated, and personnel from the Gates of the Arctic National Park, Bettles, Alaska, began a search. They located the airplane, but the pilot and passenger had begun to hike out of the area. The pilot and passenger were located later in the day.

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