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Last updated: 28 November 2020
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Tuesday 20 March 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:Bald Mountain Air Services
Registration: N716JP
C/n / msn: 527
First flight: 1977-02-01 (41 years 2 months)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:225 km (140.6 mls) N of Deadhorse, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:?
Destination airport:Deadhorse-Alpine Airstrip, AK (DQH/PALP), United States of America
The wheel-equipped DHC-6 Twin Otter airplane, N716JP, struck a pedestrian after takeoff from a remote sea ice airstrip, about 140 miles (225 km) north of Deadhorse, Alaska. The pedestrian sustained serious injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The captain, first officer, and the three passengers on board the airplane were not injured.
The purpose of the flight was to provide logistical support of ICEX 2018, which involves, in part, U.S. Navy and U.K Royal Navy submarines operating beneath the frozen Arctic Ocean during a 5-week exercise. The flight used an airstrip on the sea ice that was lined on both sides with snow berms. The airstrip included one runway oriented north/south and an intersecting runway oriented east/west. Weather conditions at the time of the accident consisted of clear skies with ice pack haze. The sun was low on the horizon, resulting in shadows on the airstrip, and flat light conditions made it difficult to discern topographical features.

The captain said that, after back-taxiing the airplane to the south end of the airstrip and just before beginning the takeoff roll to the north, both pilots saw the pedestrian standing near the departure end of the airstrip on the left side and near the intersection of the east/west runway. He said that during the takeoff roll, the airplane veered slightly to the left of centerline, so he applied differential engine power to correct the veer, and the airplane returned to the centerline. As the takeoff roll continued, the airplane subsequently became airborne, so he lowered the nose to remain within ground effect and gain airspeed before initiating a climb. He said that as the airspeed increased, he started to climb the airplane, then initiated a left turn. During the turn, both pilots said they heard a loud thump, which was immediately followed by an aileron control anomaly. The captain reported that he continued the left turn and subsequently entered a left downwind traffic pattern for an emergency landing to the north. The captain said that after landing, both pilots saw the pedestrian lying near a snow berm on the left side of the airstrip.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the left wing and left aileron. The pedestrian sustained a serious head and neck injuries because of the collision, and he was subsequently medevacked to Anchorage, Alaska for treatment.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation ongoing
Accident number: ANC18LA027



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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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