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Last updated: 10 December 2018
Status:Final
Date:Monday 25 November 2013
Time:10:21
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-118A Liftmaster (DC-6A)
Operator:Everts Air Cargo
Registration: N100CE
C/n / msn: 44662/629
First flight: 1955
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Nuiqsut, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Deadhorse-Alpine Airstrip, AK (DQH/PALP), United States of America
Destination airport:Nuiqsut Airport, AK (NUI/PAQT), United States of America
Narrative:
According to the operator, the purpose of the short, 22 minute flight from Alpine Airstrip was to deliver a load of oversized, oil drilling tools to a remote oil production site. The flightcrew reported that shortly after takeoff the first officer noticed that the airplane's elevator control movements appeared to be "momentarily stiff."
While en route to the destination, the flight engineer was asked to inspect the cargo, and he subsequently discovered that two of the four, 31-foot (9.45 m) long oil drilling tools had shifted aft, damaging the aft pressure bulkhead. The captain did not declare an emergency, and the airplane landed at the destination without incident.
A postflight inspection revealed substantial damage to the aft pressure bulkhead assembly, as well as various frames, stringers and structural longerons. In addition, several attachments for the elevator flight control pulleys and flight control cable guides were damaged. The operator noted that the airplane's pressurization system had been removed years ago, when the airplane was converted to a cargo configuration.
The operator reported that after loading the airplane, just before departure, the crew inspected the five nylon strapping mechanisms that secured the four drilling tools to the floor of the airplane. The crew reported that all five of the nylon straps were tight before departure, but gathered that one or more had loosened slightly during taxi and takeoff, allowing two of the tools to shift aft during takeoff. The crew also noted that the drilling tools were covered with ice and snow, which likely aided in the tools sliding along the aluminum, diamond plate-covered floor of the airplane.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A load shift during takeoff, which resulted in substantial damage to the aft bulkhead and associated structures."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 149 days (5 months)
Accident number: ANC14CA012
Download report: Summary report

Classification:

Sources:
» NTSB


Photos

photo of Douglas C-118A Liftmaster (DC-6A) N100CE
Being refurbished for a career in Alaska after years in the Arizona desert.
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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 Deadhorse-Alpine Airstrip, AK to Nuiqsut Airport, AK as the crow flies is 15 km (9 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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