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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45122
Last updated: 24 December 2019
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Date:08-AUG-2003
Time:16:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic BE35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft V35B Bonanza
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N4317S
C/n / msn: D-9768
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:SKAGWAY, AK -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Skagway, AK (PAGY)
Destination airport:Yakutat, AK (PAYA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The private certificated pilot departed from a near sea level runway situated in a narrow valley. The runway is 3,550 feet long by 75 feet wide. Steep mountains are located on either side of the departure path, which places the airplane in an increasingly narrowing canyon. The accident airplane was observed to takeoff on runway 02 and began a tight, climbing left turn. The direction of the turn placed the airplane near rising terrain to the northwest of the airport. The airplane was observed to descend, nose down, into the trees, followed by a fire. The location of the accident was along a steep hillside, at an elevation of about 260 feet msl. A postaccident examination of the airplane disclosed that it collided with the ground in a steep, nose down attitude. A postcrash fire consumed the cockpit/cabin area. Witnesses described the airplane's engine as running at all times. Evidence of numerous cut tree limbs at the scene were consistent with engine power. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no observed preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The FAA's Airport Facility Directory entry for the airport, states, in part: "Recommended daylight operations only. ...Approach to runway 20 in [a] narrow canyon. Turbulence and high obstructions. ...When departing runway 02, maintain runway heading for at least 1/2 mile to avoid nearby school and playground." Local users of the airport have developed a takeoff procedure for runway 02. The takeoff procedure recommends that airplanes make a slight right turn during climb-out to hug the right side of the canyon wall, then make a left climbing turn to clear the ridgeline northwest of the airport. The pilot was making a long distance cross-country flight and was not familiar with the airport.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and subsequent inadvertent stall, which resulted in a collision with trees during takeoff-initial climb. Factors contributing to the accident were terrain features consisting of a ravine and rising terrain on either side of the departure runway.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20030814X01332&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Dec-2017 19:09 ASN Update Bot Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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