On September 7, 2001, about 1145 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped de Havilland DHC-3 airplane, N254AW, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing about 53 miles east of Cordova, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) business flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was registered to Thomas J. Prijatel, and operated by Alaska Wilderness Outfitting Company, LLC, Cordova, Alaska. The certificated commercial pilot received minor injuries, and the eight passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and VFR company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated about 1115, from the airplane owner's remote lodge, located about 100 miles southeast of Cordova , and was en route to Cordova.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on September 8, the airplane/lodge owner reported that while in level, cruise flight, the accident pilot noted a loud bang as the engine began to run rough and lose power. He said that as the pilot was performing the engine emergency procedures, he smelled smoke in the cabin, and noted that the oil pressure was rapidly decreasing. During the subsequent forced landing in a marshy, muskeg-covered area, the airplane nosed over, and sustained substantial damage to right wing strut, engine firewall, and empennage.

In a letter dated November 5, 2001, a representative from Ray's Aviation, Santa Paula, California, reported that when the engine was disassembled, the exhaust valve within the number one cylinder was found fractured.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page