Narrative:A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan airplane, N207DR, and a Cessna T207A Turbo Stationair 7 airplane, N73789, collided in midair, approximately 14 km north of Nightmute, Alaska. Both airplanes were being operated as visual flight rules (VFR) charter flights in visual meteorological conditions when the accident occurred. The Cessna 208B was operated by Grant Aviation and the Cessna 207 was operated by Ryan Air. The sole occupant of the Cessna 208B sustained fatal injuries. The sole occupant of the Cessna 207 was uninjured. Both airplanes sustained substantial damage during the midair collision. After the collision, the Cessna 208B descended, uncontrolled, and impacted tundra-covered terrain. A postcrash fire consumed most of the wreckage. The Cessna 207 was further damaged during a forced landing on tundra-covered terrain. Both airplanes were based at the Bethel Airport, Alaska. The Cessna 208B departed from the Toksook Bay Airport (OOK) about 13:25, and VFR company flight following procedures were in effect for the flight to Bethel. The Cessna 207 departed from the Tununak Airport, Alaska, about 13:15, and VFR company flight following procedures were in effect for the return flight to Bethel.
|Status:||Preliminary - official|
|Date:||Friday 2 September 2011|
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
|C/n / msn:|| 208B-0859|
|First flight:|| 2000|
|Total airframe hrs:||8483|
|Engines:|| 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0|
|Total:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1 |
|Airplane damage:|| Destroyed|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||14 km (8.8 mls) N of Nightmute, AK (United States of America)
|Phase:|| En route (ENR)|
|Departure airport:||Toksook Bay Airport, AK (OOK), United States of America|
|Destination airport:||Bethel Airport, AK (BET/PABE), United States of America|
Both pilots had a close personal relationship. After takeoff from Tununak, the pilot of the Cessna 207 talked with the pilot of the Cessna 208B on a prearranged, discreet radio frequency, and the two agreed to rendezvous for the flight back to Bethel. She said that while in cruise level flight at 1,200 feet msl, en route to Bethel, the pilot of the Cessna 208B flew his airplane along the left side of her airplane, and they continued to talk via radio. She said that the pilot of the Cessna 208B then unexpectedly and unannounced climbed his airplane above, and overtop of her airplane. She immediately told the pilot of the 208B that she could not see him, and she was concerned about where he was. She said the 208B pilot then said, in part: "Whatever you do, don't pull up." Moments later, the next thing she recalls was the 208B's impact with her airplane's right wing.
The 207 pilot reported that after the impact, she saw the 208B pass underneath her airplane, and it began a gradual descent, which steepened as the airplane continued to the left and away from her airplane. She said that she told the pilot of the 208B that she thought she was going to crash. The pilot of the 208B stated that he also thought he was going to crash. She said that she watched as the 208B continued to descend, then it entered a steep, vertical, nose down descent, before it collided with the ground. She said a postcrash fire started instantaneously upon impact.
The 207 pilot said that while struggling to maintain control of her airplane, she was unable to maintain altitude, and she selected an area of rolling, tundra-covered terrain as a forced landing site. She said that during the emergency descent, she had limited roll control, and the airplane's stall horn was on during the entire emergency approach. The airplane touched down on the soft terrain, and the nose landing gear collapsed.
The Cessna 208B's severed vertical stabilizer and rudder assemblies were found about one-half mile west of the main wreckage site, and along the two airplanes' reported flight route. A large portion of the Cessna 207's right aileron was found near the 208's rudder and stabilizer.
» One pilot feared dead after planes collide (ADN, 3-9-2011)
» Updated: Troopers Investigate Midair Collision in Southwest Alaska (KTUU, 3-9-2011)
Rudder found about 1000 ft west of main wreckage
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 Toksook Bay Airport, AK to Bethel Airport, AK as the crow flies is 178 km (111 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.