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Last updated: 11 August 2020
Date:Monday 5 September 1988
Type:Silhouette image of generic BN2P model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Britten-Norman BN-2A-6 Islander
Operator:Wrangell Air Service
Registration: N111VA
C/n / msn: 215
First flight: 1970
Engines: 2 Lycoming O-540-E4C5
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Sitka, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Sitka Airport, AK (SIT/PASI), United States of America
Destination airport:Petersburg Municipal Airport, AK (PSG/PAPG), United States of America
The pilot encountered low ceilings, rain and fog while attempting to fly through a narrow mountain pass and successfully reversed course. He then flew into a small canyon off the main pass that terminated in a small glacier-covered bowl surrounded by steep rock walls. When it became apparent during a turn to reverse course that there was insufficient space to complete the maneuver before collision with a rock wall, the pilot retarded the throttles and crash landed on a glacier.

Probable Cause:

in-flight planning/decision - improper - pilot in command
terrain condition - blind/box canyon
weather condition - low ceiling
aircraft weight and balance - exceeded - pilot in command
weather condition - rain
weather condition - fog

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Accident number: SEA88FA167
Download report: Summary report

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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 Sitka Airport, AK to Petersburg Municipal Airport, AK as the crow flies is 148 km (93 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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