Narrative:The wind direction shifted from east to south while the crew were preparing to land at runway 08. The captain decided to initiate a landing on runway 26. The sink rate during the approach became unsatisfactory and a go around was attempted. The aircraft was in a right turn at 150 feet when the plane settled and crashed in the Chuckchi Sea, 300yds from the runway. Both pilots survived the impact, but one of them drowned in the 27deg F water.
Downdrafts in the area north of the runway probably caused the plane to settle. Downdrafts were known to exist when the wind is southerly. The phenomena is caused by high terrain surrounding the strip on all sides except the north.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "An uncontrollable loss of altitude caused by adverse wind conditions during an attempted go-around."
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 Kotzebue Airport, AK to Cape Lisburne Airport, AK as the crow flies is 264 km (165 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.