On September 23, 2001, about 1100 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Cessna 182 airplane, N3961D, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing, while on approach to land at the Bradley Sky-Ranch Airport, North Pole, 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 certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the accident airport, about 1020.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspector from the Fairbanks, Alaska, Flight Standards District Office, traveled to the accident scene on September 23. The FAA inspector examined the airplane, and interviewed the accident pilot. According to the FAA inspector, the accident pilot related that the airplane was being utilized to support skydiving operations in the vicinity of the accident airport. The pilot said that after climbing the airplane to about 11,500 feet msl, and after all three of the skydivers aboard exited the airplane, he began his descent to return to the Bradley Sky-Ranch Airport. The pilot said that while on approach to runway 15, all engine power was lost, and that emergency engine procedures did not restore engine power. The pilot selected a forced landing area that contained trees. The airplane collided with trees, and sustained extensive damage to the wings and fuselage. The FAA inspector obtained about one cup of fuel from the carburetor float bowl. The fuel sample was sent to a laboratory in Anchorage, Alaska, for examination and testing. The fuel sample met the specifications for aviation fuel. Analysis of the visible contaminates in the fuel sample revealed that the sample contained vegetative material, dirt, sand, and wood pieces.

The pilot supplied a written statement, but did not submit a Pilot/Operator report (NTSB form 6120.1/20).

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