ANC05LA003
ANC05LA003

On October 9, 2004, about 1520 Alaska daylight time, an amphibious Societe' Construction Airo-Navales (SCAN) 30 airplane, N701Q, received substantial damage following an in-flight fire and subsequent forced landing in trees near a private airstrip, about 5 miles north-northwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The airline transport certificated pilot and sole passenger were not injured. The local personal flight originated at the Lake Hood Strip, Anchorage, about 1510, and operated in day visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The airplane was operated by the pilot/owner, and is a French made copy of the Grumman G44 "Widgeon" airplane.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) on October 12, the pilot related that the purpose of the flight was to do some local flying and possibly conduct a practice instrument approach at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. He said a few minutes after departure, the instrument panel burst into flames. He said he attempted to stop the fire by turning off all electrical power, but that the flames and smoke continued. He reported his initial thought was to land the airplane in the ocean waters of Cook Inlet, but he was closer to a small, private, dirt airstrip, and flew towards it. He indicated that the smoke became too thick to see through, even with the passenger side cabin window open, and he shut the fuel off to both engines and made a forced landing in the trees short of the airstrip. The pilot reported substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. He also said that when cut off the fuel to the engines, the fire seemed to go out, although he was not certain that the fire was fuel related.

The NTSB IIC asked the pilot if any recent maintenance had been performed on the airplane, and he noted he had cleaned up and bundled some wiring behind the panel, but nothing else of any significance. The pilot stated that the airplane will probably remain at the accident site until winter. He said there are no roads to the airstrip, and that he will have to use a sled to remove the airplane once the ground is frozen and snow covered.

The NTSB IIC requested that the pilot forward any additional information he discovered about the nature and origin of the fire. As of March 17, 2004, the pilot has not contacted the NTSB IIC.

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