ANC05TA106
ANC05TA106

On July 6, 2005, about 1300 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Cessna 185 airplane, N8360Q, sustained substantial damage when it collided with small willow trees during the landing roll at a remote airstrip, about 44 miles northeast of Delta Junction, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) public use flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, Anchorage, Alaska. The airline transport certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and VFR company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated at the Delta Junction Airport, about 1215.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on July 22, the pilot reported that he was landing toward the east at a remote mining airstrip that was about 2,300 feet msl. He was delivering fuel to the airstrip in support of helicopter operations in the area. The airstrip, known as Last Chance Airstrip, slopes uphill, and is about 1,000 feet long, and about 16 feet wide. The pilot indicated that during the landing roll, the right main landing gear tire dropped into a rut, pulling the airplane to the right, into several willow trees. The propeller was damaged, which was subsequently changed, and the airplane was flown to a repair facility.

The Anchorage Chief, Division of Fleet Services for the Department of the Interior's, Aviation Management Directorate, reported that during an inspection of the airplane at their repair facility in Anchorage, inspectors found a small ripple in the underside of the right horizontal stabilizer skin. Further examination disclosed damage to an inboard stabilizer rib, which will require a major repair.

The Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1) submitted by the pilot, contained a narrative report that was prepared by an air safety investigator with the Department of the Interior, Aviation Management Directorate, Aviation Safety Division. The investigator reported that during an examination of the airstrip, he noted that the airplane's tailwheel contacted the ground about 53 feet before the beginning of the airstrip. The main landing gear tires contacted the airstrip surface about 75 feet after the initial tailwheel strike. The propeller struck the ground about 52 feet beyond the approach end of the airstrip, and about 30 feet from the initial contact with the main wheels. Following the propeller strikes, the airplane veered to the right and ran through several 2 to 4 foot tall willow trees.

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