On January 23, 2001, about 1330 Alaska standard time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N737CU, sustained substantial damage during landing at Kipnuk, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country government flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was owned by the pilot, and operated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Airways Facilities Branch, Anchorage, Alaska. The private certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at the Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska, about 1230. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on January 24, 2001, the pilot reported that he and the passenger are employees of the FAA, Airways Facilities Branch. The flight to Kipnuk was for the purpose of working on the VOR building at Kipnuk. The pilot said that his check of weather conditions at Kipnuk included a wind report of 060 degrees at eight knots. Upon arrival over the airport, the pilot said he visually checked the wind sock at the airport. The wind sock frame appeared to be oriented about 150 degrees, but the tail of the sock was blowing at an angle. The wind appeared to be 060 degrees at 10 knots, with gusts to 15 knots. The pilot landed on runway 33, touching down at the approach end of the runway. The runway surface was icy, and about 300 feet after touchdown, the airplane was blown to the left. The pilot was unable to correct the left drift, and the airplane departed the left side of the runway, into an area of soft snow. The airplane nosed over, and received damage to the wings and vertical stabilizer.
The pilot reported that he utilized his personal airplane as transportation to Kipnuk, receiving mileage compensation from the FAA.
The FAA's Airport Facility Directory/Alaska Supplement listing for the Kipnuk airport includes airport remarks, which state, in part: "Airport unattended. Caution, runway condition not monitored, recommend visual inspection prior to using. Caution, frequent crosswinds. ...windsock at south end of airport damaged, not functioning properly."