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Last updated: 15 September 2019
Status:Final
Date:Friday 11 August 1995
Time:10:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic SC7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Shorts SC.7 Skyvan 3-100
Operator:FS Air Service
Registration: N504FS
C/n / msn: SH.1953
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:5965
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Nikolai Airport, AK (NIB) (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Anchorage-Ted Stevens International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC), United States of America
Destination airport:Nikolai Airport, AK (NIB/PAFS), United States of America
Narrative:
A Shorts Skyvan, N504FS, experienced an in-flight fire about 20 miles from its planned destination at a private airstrip near Nikolai, Alaska. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated from the Anchorage International Airport at 09:27.
The operator reported that the cargo included barrels of 100LL octane aviation fuel. The pilot reported fire and smoke in the cargo compartment. He began an immediate descent and landed at the destination airstrip, located in a remote area. After landing, the pilot noticed that fuel was leaking from one of the barrels and from the belly of the airplane. The fire was extinguished by the pilot and ground personnel. The fire was located between the cargo area flooring and the bottom belly skin of the airplane.
Examination of the airplane revealed fire damage to the flooring and heat damage to the overhead areas of the cargo bay. In addition, the airframe assembly incorporating the rear spar, the airframe formers between the rear and front spar, and airframe stations 211, 226, and 244, received fire damage and melting.
An area of sooting and a charred section of electrical wiring was found below the flooring near the aft end of the cargo bay. It was adjacent to the mounting position of a lower fuselage beacon that had been removed sometime in the past. The wire was connected to a 5 amp circuit breaker in the cockpit that was found popped. The breaker protected the electrical loads for the airplane's rotating beacons. Application of electrical power to the rotating beacon circuit resulted in proper functioning of the upper fuselage beacon, and the presence of electrical power to the charred section of lower fuselage wiring.

Probable Cause:

Ignition of hazardous cargo (aviation fuel) by an exposed electrical wire, after leaking from a container of fuel that was being transported on the flight. Factors relating to the accident were: inadequate inspection of the airplane by company maintenance personnel, and failure of company personnel to identify the leaking fuel container.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 208 days (7 months)
Accident number: ANC95LA141
Download report: Summary report

Classification:

Forced landing on runway

Sources:
» NTSB


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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 Anchorage-Ted Stevens International Airport, AK to Nikolai Airport, AK as the crow flies is 303 km (190 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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