On June 3, 2001, about 1900 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped Noorduyn Norseman UC-64A airplane, N225BL, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from a remote tidal lake, about 28 miles southeast of Seward, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand passenger flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, when the accident occurred. The airplane was registered to the pilot, and operated by Bear Lake Air, Inc., Seward. The certificated commercial pilot, and the five passengers aboard, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and VFR company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight departed Bear Lake, in Seward, about 1730, en route to the accident lake. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on June 4, the pilot reported that during the flight from Bear Lake, strong winds and turbulence were encountered. He added that after landing at the accident lake he taxied to shore, loaded his passengers, and briefed the passengers of the anticipated turbulence. He added that he taxied the airplane to the farthest point on the lake that would allow the maximum amount of takeoff run. He said that just after takeoff, about 150 feet above the water, a very strong gust of wind pushed the nose of the airplane to the left. He applied full right rudder in an attempt to regain control, but the nose of the airplane continued to the left, and the left wing stalled. The pilot said: "The airplane just stopped flying, and we just fell from about 100 feet." As the airplane's floats struck the surface of the lake, the left side of the fuselage buckled, and the left wing struck the water. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, and minor damage to the left wing.