ANC00LA116
ANC00LA116

On August 9, 2000, about 1930 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 207A airplane, N1824Q, sustained substantial damage during landing at a remote airstrip, known as the Cinnabar Strip, about 52 miles southeast of Aniak, Alaska, about latitude 60 degrees, 47.00 minutes north, and longitude 158 degrees, 51.31 minutes west. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane is registered to Larry's Flying Service Inc., Fairbanks, Alaska, and operated by the pilot. The airline transport certificated pilot, and the three passengers, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. VFR company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated at the Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska, at 1810.

On August 10, 2000, at 1645, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), was notified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the accident airplane was overdue. In a telephone conversation with the Bethel Station Manager for Larry's Flying Service, the manager stated he arranged a personal hunting trip for himself, and friends, utilizing the company airplane. He stated he was personally paying for the flight from Bethel to the Cinnabar Strip, and was sharing other camping expenses with the hunting party. The flight departed Bethel with an adult and two teen-aged passengers, and the station manager said he was maintaining VFR company flight following procedures. The pilot was to return and pick up the station manager, and the father of the teens after the first flight. When the airplane did not return on August 9, the station manager said he did not become concerned, thinking the pilot was waiting for marginal weather conditions to improve. No radio contact was received from the airplane, and no emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal was received from the airplane. When the airplane did not return by the afternoon of August 10, the flight was reported overdue by the teens' father. Search personnel then began receiving an ELT signal in the area of the airstrip. Search aircraft located the airplane at the Cinnabar Strip on the evening of August 10, and the four occupants were transported back to Bethel.

In a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on August 11, 2000, the pilot reported that he was asked by the company station manager to fly the passengers to the airstrip. He had not flown to the airstrip before, but was told by the station manager that the airstrip was "better than most." The pilot said he landed toward the west on the dirt airstrip that is about 1,400 feet long, and about 20 feet wide. During the landing roll, the right wing struck high vegetation along the right side of the strip, and the airplane veered off the right side into tall brush. The nose wheel landing gear strut was sheared off, and the propeller struck the ground. The pilot, who holds a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings, said the right wing received minor leading edge denting, one propeller blade was slightly bent, and no structural damage occurred to the airframe at the nose wheel strut attach point.

On August 21, 2000, in a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC, the adult passenger reported that he was invited to go on a week-long hunting trip arranged by the father of the other passengers, and the station manager for Larry's Flying Service. The passenger said the pilot overflew one end of the airstrip and then landed the opposite direction. The airplane bounced hard during the landing flare, and rebounded into the air for about 170 feet. The airplane drifted to the right, and touched down with the right main landing gear, and the right wing hitting alder bushes along the right side of the strip. About 250 feet after first contacting the alders, the airplane suddenly veered to the right, off the airstrip, and the nose wheel strut separated.

The father of the teen-aged passengers traveled to the airstrip. He reported that he observed tire marks at the approach end of the strip. Additional tire marks were found about 14 inches off the right edge of the airstrip, in an area of alder bushes. About 486 feet later, the tire marks made an abrupt 90 degree turn to the right, into tall alders, and a small embankment.

After the accident, the airplane was recovered and flown to Bethel. On September 6, 2000, the Director of Maintenance for Larry's Flying Service reported that the right wing repair did not involve any ribs or stringers, but over eight feet of the wing's leading edge was replaced.

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