ASN Aircraft accident Cessna 208B Grand Caravan N454SF Hooper Bay Airport, AK (HPB)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 4 February 2020
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Operator:Grant Aviation
Registration: N454SF
MSN: 208B0797
First flight: 1999
Total airframe hrs:20344
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Hooper Bay Airport, AK (HPB) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Hooper Bay Airport, AK (HPB/PAHP), United States of America
Destination airport:Bethel Airport, AK (BET/PABE), United States of America
A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan airplane, N454SF, sustained substantial damage after overrunning the end of the runway during takeoff, at the Hooper Bay Airport (HPB), Alaska, USA. Of the 8 occupants onboard, the commercial pilot and six adult passengers, along with one infant passenger, were not injured.
Day instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight plan was filed. The flight originated from HPB, about 15:58, and was destined for Bethel, Alaska (BET).

According to the captain, the weather conditions the day of the accident consisted of snow, low visibility, and flat light. The original flight departure time had been delayed about 3 hours due to weather. The scheduled route of flight was from Bethel (BET), to Scammon Bay (SCM), to HPB, to Chevak (VAK), returning to BET with various passengers and cargo pick-ups and drop-offs along the route. Prior to departure from BET he received runway reports from his dispatcher that all destination airport runways were ready. He also obtained weather at all three destinations. He then did a risk analysis and gathered more weather before deeming the flight conditions good to dispatch the flight.
While enroute to HPB he gathered weather for VAK and determined that the VAK portion of the flight would be canceled due to deteriorating weather. Once in HPB he landed without incident on the snow covered runway. He then called Grant dispatch in BET and informed that he would take all the passengers going to BET since he had canceled his flight to VAK; he loaded 7 passengers total and their bags. During the time on the ground, while waiting for passengers, a twin-engine King Air airplane landed and departed the runway with no incident.

The pilot then back taxied for a runway 13 departure at HPB. He stated that flat light conditions prevailed, and it was difficult to see down the runway or have any depth perception. He initiated the takeoff with 20 degrees of flap selected and noticed no issues during the initial takeoff roll. He then noticed the airspeed was not increasing fast enough, witnessed the end of the runway approaching, and decided he could not abort the takeoff in time. Committed to the takeoff the airplane became airborne and the stall warning horn activated as the airplane cleared the departure end of the runway. The pilot attempted to get the airplane into ground effect, but the airplane settled, and the main landing gear encountered the snow covered terrain. Subsequently, the airplane's speed decreased, the nose wheel descended and encountered the snow, and the airplane came to rest upright about 150 ft from the end of the runway. All crew and passengers evacuated the airplane, and nobody was injured.
The pilot added that the snow on the runway during departure was about 3-5 inches of wet heavy snow.

Probable Cause:

Probable Cause: The pilot’s decision to depart from a contaminated runway, and his failure to make a timely decision to abort the takeoff when the airplane was not accelerating as expected. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to depart in limited visibility conditions, which likely affected his ability to determine the available runway distance remaining during the takeoff.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 1 months
Accident number: ANC20LA020
Download report: Summary report

Failure to become airborne
Runway excursion (overrun)



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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 Hooper Bay Airport, AK to Bethel Airport, AK as the crow flies is 244 km (152 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from 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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