On August 1, 2006, about 1730 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped, de Havilland DHC-2 Mk.1 airplane, N4040W, sustained substantial damage when it struck the shore during takeoff from a remote lake, about 50 miles south of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by Brooks Range Aviation, Bettles, Alaska, as a visual flight rules (VFR) passenger flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, when the accident occurred. The airline transport certificated pilot and the five passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following procedures were in effect. 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 August 1, the Bettles Airport manager said the float-equipped accident airplane landed on the hard-surfaced runway at Bettles. The manager said the pilot told her that he had struck the shore during takeoff from a lake, and feared the floats would not support the airplane during a water landing, and elected to land on the hard-surface runway. The manager reported that during landing the float's supporting structure collapsed, and the airplane sat on its tail.
On August 3, the director of operations for the company told the IIC he believed that damage to the airplane was limited to the floats and support structure, however the airplane had been put back on wheels, and the airplane was being ferried to a repair facility to have the fuselage examined and repaired, if necessary.
On August 10, an FAA maintenance inspector who examined the repairs made to the airplane, told the IIC that an aft fuselage bulkhead had to be cut and spliced at the bottom, and that several additional fuselage stringers had to be cut and repaired, or replaced.
In a written statement to the NTSB dated August 27, the pilot wrote that he "hesitated" at the takeoff abort point long enough that he felt he had no choice but to continue the takeoff, and that the floats hit the bank just as the airplane became airborne.