On July 17, 2009, about 2200 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 172L airplane, N7136Q, sustained substantial damage during taxi on the nonmovement area of Lakeshore Drive, Lake Hood Strip, Anchorage, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the airline transport pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airline transport pilot and sole passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight departed Homer, Alaska, about 2045. 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 19, the pilot said that he was confused by the taxi instructions given by the airport ground controller, and inadvertently taxied onto a roadway. While proceeding on the roadway, he said the setting sun, which was in his eyes, caused him not to see an aircraft crossing sign on the right side of the roadway. He said he struck the sign with the right wing. The pilot said there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing during the accident.
An examination of the accident site by the IIC, showed that the pilot exited the runway's parallel taxiway at midfield into an airplane parking and fueling area. He taxied to a road transiting the parking area, and went northwest on the road. The road narrowed as it exited the boundary of the parking area. At the boundary of the parking area, the pilot passed a "No Taxi" sign on the left side of the road.
The pilot landed at Lake Hood Strip (Z41) with the expectation of parking his airplane near the terminal at Ted Stevens International Airport (PANC). Although the aerodrome appears to be a single large airport complex, it is three separate airport facilities. A pilot landing at the Lake Hood Strip (Z41), would have to exit the strip boundaries and taxi across Lake Hood Seaplane (LHD) perimeter and park at Alpha transient wheel parking. The route from Lake Hood Strip to Alpha parking is classified by the airports as nonmovement area that is not under the ground controller's jurisdiction, and thus progressive taxi instructions by ground control were not available. The State of Alaska, Department of Transportation, did maintain an interactive airport web site with detailed diagrams available on the Internet. On the site, Lake Hood has a general aviation parking section with information about parking and printable PDF diagrams of the airport. The site also suggests that transient pilots telephone for information before arriving at the airport. The appropriate taxi route from Lake Hood Strip to Alpha parking is to go west on the parallel taxiway to the Lakeshore Taxilane, which crosses the road taken by the pilot. The sign the airplane hit had flashing amber lights, and warned of the Lakeshore Taxilane crossing. In the immediate area where the accident pilot exited the runway's parallel taxiway, there is transient aircraft parking, and a taxi cab stand with a telephone.
A review of PANC tower facility tapes revealed that the pilot did advise he was unfamiliar with the airport, and he was told to taxi northwest around Lake Hood to parking near the base of the tower.
A review of the FAA Alaska airports supplement, under the Lake Hood Strip airport, noted the "taxiway around Lake Hood is a joint use taxi/road and is used by motor vehicles/bicycles/joggers and tour buses." The supplement does not diagram the route.