ANC07LA040
ANC07LA040

On May 30, 2007, about 1200 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Douglas DC-4 airplane, modified as a Carvair ATL-98, N898AT, sustained substantial damage when it collided with the approach end of a remote mine site runway during the landing flare/touchdown, about 28 miles northeast of McGrath, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country nonscheduled cargo flight under Title 14, CFR Part 125, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by Brooks Air Transport, dba Brooks Fuel Inc., Fairbanks, Alaska. The captain, an airline transport certificated pilot, and the first officer, a commercial certificated pilot, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and VFR company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated at the Fairbanks International Airport about 1030.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on May 30, the captain reported that he was planning to land on runway 16, at the Nixon Fork Mine airport. The gravel surface runway, about 1,510 feet msl, is about 4,200 feet long. The captain said that the airplane became low on the landing approach, the right wing dropped, and the right main landing gear struck the lip of the runway. The right main landing gear was torn off, which allowed the nose and right wing to collide with the runway surface. The right wing was torn off the fuselage and caught fire. The fuselage, containing the cargo of fuel bladders, slid to a stop and rolled about 90 degrees to the left. The right wing continued to burn for about 1.5 hours.

The Carvair ATL-98 airplane has a raised cockpit area, above the fuselage, to allow for the installation and operation of an upward swinging nose door.

The Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1) submitted by the pilot, contains a recommendation (How could this accident have been prevented?) section. The pilot indicated that the sight picture in the Carvair is higher than the DC-4, and said, "I think I was lower than I perceived."

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