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Last updated: 17 December 2018
Date:Tuesday 15 September 2015
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH3T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter
Operator:Rainbow King Lodge
Registration: N928RK
C/n / msn: 61
First flight: 1954
Total airframe hrs:15436
Engines: 1 Garrett TPE331-12JR-702
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:0,6 km (0.4 mls) N of Iliamna-East Wind Lake Seaplane Base, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Iliamna-East Wind Lake Seaplane Base, AK, United States of America
Destination airport:Swikshak River, AK, United States of America
A de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Turbine Otter float plane, N928RK, sustained substantial damage when it impacted tree and tundra-covered terrain, just after takeoff from East Wind Lake, about 1 mile north of the Iliamna Airport, Alaska. Of the 10 people aboard, three passengers died at the scene, the pilot and four passengers sustained serious injuries, and two passengers sustained minor injuries. Dark night, visual meteorological conditions prevailed a the time of the accident. The airplane was en route to a remote fishing site on the Swikshak River, about 75 miles northwest of Kodiak, Alaska.
After takeoff the airplane began a gradual right turn before reaching a maximum altitude of 175 ft above the water. The airplane then descended toward the water's surface, flew low over the water and terrain, and then climbed briefly again before it impacted terrain. The pilot stated that he did not know that the airplane touched the water's surface after the initial liftoff or that it then turned right.

A postaccident weight and balance study using the passenger weights, weighed cargo, and fuel load showed that the airplane exceeded its maximum gross weight of 8367 lbs (3795 kg) by about 508.6 lbs (230.7 kg) and that the center of gravity (CG) was 4.08 inches aft of the aft CG limit.

Probable Cause:

Probable Cause: "The pilot's decision to depart in dark night, visual meteorological conditions over water, which resulted in his subsequent spatial disorientation and loss of airplane control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to determine the airplane's actual preflight weight and balance and center of gravity (CG), which led to the airplane being loaded and operated outside of the weight and CG limits and to a subsequent aerodynamic stall."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Accident number: ANC15FA071
Download report: Final report

Centre of Gravity outside limits
Loss of control

» KSRM Radio
» Alaska Public Media

METAR Weather report:
05:53 UTC / 13:53 local time:
PAIL 151353Z 24007KT 10SM SCT007 OVC044 09/08 A2960 RMK AO2 RAE00 SLP026 P0000 T00890083 $
wind 240 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, scattered at 700 feet, overcast at 4,400 feet; temperature 9°C; dew point 8°C; altimeter 29.61 inHg.

06:53 UTC / 14:53 local time:
PAIL 151453Z 24009KT 10SM SCT008 BKN026 OVC031 09/08 A2961 RMK AO2 SLP027 60000 T00890078 55001 $


photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter N928RK
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter N928RK
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter N928RK
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter N928RK
photo of de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter N928RK
Airplane's flightpath from ADS-B data
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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 Iliamna-East Wind Lake Seaplane Base, AK to Swikshak River, AK as the crow flies is 143 km (90 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the 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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