On July 26, 2005, about 1630 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Maule MX7-180 airplane, N185DB, sustained substantial damage when it nosed over during the landing roll at a remote beach, about 64 miles east of Yakutat, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The airline transport certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Gustavus Airport, Gustavus, Alaska, at 1551. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on July 27, the pilot reported that he dropped three hikers along the coast of Alaska, several days before the accident. Their plan was to hike north along the coast and be picked up by an air taxi operator. The hiking party encountered difficult terrain and could not proceed further. They attracted attention to their location by aerial flares, and by writing the name of the accident pilot's air taxi business in the sand. The pilot was notified of the hiker's actions by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and by the U.S. Coast Guard. The pilot responded to the area and decided to land on a beach area to lend assistance. During the landing roll, the pilot said the right main landing gear tire encountered soft and steep terrain, and during his attempt to stop, the airplane nosed over. The airplane received structural damage to the wings and the vertical stabilizer. After the accident, the pilot activated the airplane's emergency locator transmitter (ELT). A second airplane also landed to lend assistance, and it became mired in mud.
The accident airplane did not return from the flight, and the FAA declared the flight overdue. The airplane's ELT signal was received by search and rescue personnel. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter located the accident site, and transported the pilot, the pilot of the second airplane, and the hikers to Sitka, Alaska.