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Accident description
Last updated: 21 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 4 October 1988
Time:09:52
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE99 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft B99A
Operator:San Juan Airlines
Registration: N803BA
C/n / msn: U-133
First flight: 1969
Total airframe hrs:27745
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:near Eastsound-Orcas Island Airport, WA (ESD) (   United States of America)
Phase: Maneuvering (MNV)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bellingham Airport, WA (BLI/KBLI), United States of America
Destination airport:Eastsound-Orcas Island Airport, WA (ESD/KORS), United States of America
Narrative:
The crew elected to depart the Bellingham Airport under a special VFR clearance. Weather at the departure airport was 700 ft overcast with visibility 1 and 1/4 miles. The destination airport was within 25 nautical miles of the departure airport and was reporting a broken ceiling of 6 to 800 ft and 3 miles visibility. The crew was in the process of obtaining an IFR clearance when the pilot on the controls observed trees in the flight path. The aircraft collided with trees during a climbing right turn. The crew subsequently obtained an IFR clearance and returned to the departure airport uneventfully.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE:
flight into known adverse weather..attempted..pilot in command

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS:
weather condition..low ceiling
weather condition..fog
lack of familiarity with geographic area..pilot in command
visual lookout..not possible
lack of familiarity with geographic area..copilot/second pilot

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Accident number: SEA89FA006
Download report: Summary report

Classification:

Sources:
» NTSB


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 1 Safety Recommendation

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Map
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 Bellingham Airport, WA to Eastsound-Orcas Island Airport, WA as the crow flies is 29 km (18 miles).

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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