ASN Aircraft accident Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N408GV Wainwright, AK
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 10 April 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Operator:Hageland Aviation Services
Registration: N408GV
MSN: 208B0455
First flight: 1995
Total airframe hrs:1700
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Total:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:8 km (5 mls) NW off Wainwright, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Barrow-Point Barrow Airport, AK (PBA), United States of America
Destination airport:Wainwright Airport, AK (AIN/PAWI), United States of America
The pilot had contacted the Barrow Flight Service Station (FSS) eleven times on the day of the accident to obtain weather briefings. The conditions were below VFR minimums, which were required to conduct the passenger-carrying commercial flight in a single-engine airplane. The conditions later improved and the pilot departed under a special VFR clearance. The pilot performed two approaches at the Wainwright Airport (AIN) in IMC that were consistent with the two GPS approaches that were available there. Weather data and witnesses indicate that daylight conditions, low clouds and poor visibility prevailed, with cloud tops at 1,000 feet. After the second approach, the pilot radioed that he was heading back to the departure airport because he could not see the airport. The airplane impacted the frozen Arctic Ocean in a right bank and at a 60-degree nose-down attitude about three miles away from the location of the pilot's last radio transmission. An examination of the airplane before it sank through cracking ice, revealed no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions. An examination of the propeller revealed that it was under a power setting consistent with a maneuvering airspeed at the time of impact. The airplane was nearly full of fuel and over its published maximum gross weight at impact. Small pieces of clear ice, about 1/4-inch thick, were found on portions of the tail surfaces. Interviews with operator employees and the pilot's wife revealed that the pilot may have felt pressure from himself and passengers to complete the flight.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's intentional VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions and his failure to maintain altitude/clearance from terrain. Factors contributing to the accident were the weather conditions.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Accident number: ANC97MA161
Download report: Summary report

VFR flight in IMC
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Water

» NTSB id ANC97MA161


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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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