ASN Aircraft accident Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N97HA Fairbanks, AK
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Status:Accident Investigation report not yet completed, but information verified through authorities or other sources.
Date:Monday 16 August 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Operator:Wright Air Service
Registration: N97HA
MSN: 208B0610
First flight: 1997
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Fairbanks, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Fairbanks International Airport, AK (FAI/PAFA), United States of America
Destination airport:Huslia Airport, AK (HSL/PAHL), United States of America
Wright Air Service flight 440, a Cessna 208B, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an inflight upset near Fairbanks, Alaska. The pilot and eight passengers were not injured.

According to the accident pilot, flight 440 departed about 14:24 from the Fairbanks International Airport (FAI), destined for Huslia, Alaska (HLA), located about 220 miles east-northeast of FAI. After departure, she climbed the airplane to her assigned altitude of 10,000 ft mean sea level (MSL), where she encountered what she described as “light rime” icing conditions. In an effort to exit the icing conditions, she asked and was assigned a block altitude from 10,000 - 12,000 ft msl, and subsequently climbed the airplane to 10,500 ft msl. Unable to exit the icing conditions, she elected to begin a gradual descent back to 10,000 ft msl. She added that instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and that the autopilot was engaged. The pilot also noted that while en route, the airplane’s deicing boots, and heated propeller were operating normally by removing ice accumulations.

She said that while in a gradual descent from 10,500 ft. msl to 10,000 ft. msl, the autopilot suddenly disengaged, without warning, and the airplane entered an abrupt uncommand right bank followed by a steep nose down, spiraling descent. The pilot said that it felt as if the aileron controls were jammed as she tried to regain control of the airplane. After regaining control of the airplane, she declared an inflight emergency and subsequently made an emergency landing at FAI.

A review of preliminary flight track data revealed that after departing FAI, the flight proceeded to the west, northwest for about 47 nm, cruising at about 10,000 ft msl. Prior to the upset, a climb was initiated and the flight reached an altitude of about 10,700 ft msl before descending to about 10,300 ft msl followed by abrupt changes to altitude and ground speed.

A postflight inspection of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the right aileron. Flight control continuity was established continuously from each control surface to the corresponding cockpit controls. The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GFC 600 autopilot that recorded several parameters on nonvolatile memory. The memory was downloaded, and a detailed analysis is on-going.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation ongoing
Accident number: ANC21LA073
Download report: Preliminary report

Loss of control

» NTSB AIR-22-07


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Fairbanks International Airport, AK to Huslia Airport, AK as the crow flies is 404 km (252 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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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