ANC02LA003
ANC02LA003

On October 5, 2001, about 1030 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped Cessna 185 airplane, N1966U, sustained substantial damage when it collided with the surface of Lake Clark, about 18 miles northeast of Port Alsworth, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The commercial certificated pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from Miller Creek on Lake Clark, about 1020.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on October 18, 2001, the pilot reported he just departed his cabin on Lake Clark, and was flying over the lake toward Anchorage. The pilot said the surface of the lake was smooth and glassy, and he decided to conduct some landings on Lake Clark. He said that during the landing approach, he did not have any shore reference and misjudged the water surface. The pilot said he inadvertently touched down too fast, and the airplane nosed over in the water. The pilot, who was wearing an inflatable jacket, exited the inverted airplane and got onto the floats. The airplane sank in about two minutes. The pilot then swam for about 40 minutes to the shore. The pilot said the airplane is resting in about 250 feet of water, and has not been recovered.

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