On September 24, 2001, about 1500 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Cessna 206 airplane, N35962, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from a gravel bar in the Dulbi River, located about 43 miles northeast of Galena, Alaska. The airline transport certificated pilot and the one passenger aboard were not injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 business flight (hunt/guide) operated in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The purpose of the flight was to transport a hunting client and his equipment to Galena. The operator was Kurt Lepping, doing business as Alaska Brown Bear Safaris and Trophy Outfitters, Wasilla, Alaska. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone conversation with the NTSB investigator-in-charge on September 27, the pilot related he was attempting to takeoff from a 600 feet long gravel bar with a load of moose meat and a hunter. He calculated the airplane to be at or near maximum gross weight, and said that he reviewed the short takeoff and landing (STOL) modified airplane's performance tables. With the prevailing 8 to 10 knot westerly headwind, he estimated the takeoff distance to be approximately 500 feet. He said that the airplane accelerated normally, became airborne before the end of the gravel bar, but then settled into shallow water, nosing over and damaging the left wing. The pilot said that the owner of the airplane watched the takeoff, and told him the wind shifted from a headwind to a 5 knot tailwind during the takeoff roll.
In his written report to the NTSB, the pilot wrote under, Recommendation (How Could This Accident Been Prevented): "Lighter loads and more of them. Closer attention to possible wind shear."