SEA99LA137
SEA99LA137

On August 10, 1999, approximately 1230 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 180J airplane, N7739K, operated by Baker Aircraft Inc. of Baker City, Oregon, on a nonscheduled 14 CFR 135 air taxi flight, was substantially damaged in a ground loop on landing at Oxbow Airport, a private airport operated by the Idaho Power Company in the Hell's Canyon area of the Snake River northwest of Council, Idaho. The commercial pilot-in-command of the aircraft and his passenger, an employee of the Idaho Power Company, were uninjured. The accident flight was a local flight out of the Oxbow Airport for the purpose of conducting a game survey. The flight was receiving company flight following at the time of the accident.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that upon returning to the airport, he flew along the east side of the canyon, traveling to the north to check the wind sock. The sock indicated a "slight" crosswind from the west. The pilot reversed course for landing to the south. The pilot reported that everything "appeared normal" until the touchdown, when the airplane bounced. When the airplane became airborne, a gust of wind from the west hit the airplane, which weathervaned to the right. The airplane touched down a second time and the airplane continued to the right. The pilot attempted to correct with full left braking action. The corrective action was unsuccessful and the airplane continued off the side of the runway, colliding with a dirt embankment. The airplane came to rest approximately 90 degrees to runway heading. The pilot reported on his NTSB accident report that no mechanical malfunction or failure was involved in the accident.

According to an FAA inspector who responded to the accident scene, the winds at the time of the accident varied from calm to southerly gusts of unknown intensity. The FAA inspector reported that the landing on the north-south, 2,900 by 50 foot, asphalt runway was to the south (the runway slopes uphill in this direction.) The FAA inspector reported finding initial contact marks approximately 700 to 800 feet down the runway, and that the contact marks observed were indicative of a bounce on landing. He stated that the second set of runway contact marks continued for an additional 600 to 700 feet, then arced right (to the west). The aircraft came to rest with its tail blocking the runway surface. The FAA inspector reported that in his post-accident inspection of the aircraft, he found no evidence of preexisting mechanical problems with the aircraft.

According to information about the airport obtained from the "AirNav" Internet airport and navigational aid database, the airport is located in the bottom of a deep narrow canyon.

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