ASN Aircraft accident Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N120AX Bethel Airport, AK (BET)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 16 October 2001
Type:Silhouette image of generic E120 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia
Operator:ACE Air Cargo
Registration: N120AX
MSN: 120164
First flight: 1989
Total airframe hrs:26295
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW118
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:5,8 km (3.6 mls) S of Bethel Airport, AK (BET) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Anchorage International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC), United States of America
Destination airport:Bethel Airport, AK (BET/PABE), United States of America
The crew were cleared for the localizer DME back course approach to runway 36 at Bethel, AK. The airplane collided with the ground on the 186 degree radial from the Bethel VOR. Weather two minutes after the accident included: Wind, 060 degrees (true) at 22 knots, gusts to 28 knots; visibility, 1 statute mile in light snow and mist; clouds and sky condition, 800 feet broken, 3,500 feet overcast; temperature, 25 degrees F; dew point, 22 degrees F; altimeter, 29.21 inHg.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's continued descent below the minimum descent altitude which resulted in impact with terrain during an instrument landing approach. Factors contributing to the accident were the flightcrew's failure to reset the altimeters to the correct altimeter setting, and meteorological conditions consisting of snow obscuration that limited visibility, and the ambient night light conditions."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Accident number: ANC02LA002
Download report: Summary report


Wrong altimeter setting
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» NTSB Id. ANC02LA002


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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 Anchorage International Airport, AK to Bethel Airport, AK as the crow flies is 635 km (397 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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