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Accident description
Last updated: 17 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 17 August 2003
Time:12:56
Type:Silhouette image of generic F406 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Reims Cessna F406 Caravan II
Operator:Hageland Aviation Services
Registration: N6591L
C/n / msn: F406-0053
First flight: 1990
Total airframe hrs:7675
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-112
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:50 km (31.3 mls) SW off Barrow, AK (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Barrow-Wiley Post/Will Rogers Memorial Airport, AK (BRW/PABR), United States of America
Destination airport:Wainwright Airport, AK (AIN/PAWI), United States of America
Narrative:
A Reims Cessna F406 Caravan II, N6591L, was presumably destroyed during an in-flight collision with ocean waters, off Barrow, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) non-scheduled domestic cargo flight when the accident occurred.
The certificated airline transport pilot and the sole non-revenue passenger have not been located, and are presumed to have received fatal injuries.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the flight's departure airport, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Barrow-Wiley Post/Will Rogers Memorial Airport, AK (BRW) about 12:49, and was en route to Wainwright, Alaska.
Airborne search personnel reported sighting floating debris, consisting of what appeared to be aircraft seats, cardboard boxes, and small portions of aircraft wreckage, about 30.5 miles southwest of the flight's departure airport, and about 10 miles from shore. The airplane is presumed to have sunk in ocean waters estimated to be between 50 and 70 feet deep. Underwater search and recovery efforts were unsuccessful, and the airplane, pilot, and passenger remain missing. A review of archived radar data disclosed that as the accident airplane approached an area about 30.5 miles southwest of the departure airport, it descended to 500 feet msl, and then entered a right turn. As the turn progressed, the airplane continued to descend to 400 feet msl, with a radar-derived ground speed of 180 knots. The last radar return was recorded with the same radar-derived groundspeed, on an approximate heading of 200 degrees. A pilot who is familiar with geographical locations in the area reported that migrating whales are commonly sighted in the area where the radar depicted a descending right turn.

Probable Cause:

CAUSE: "An in-flight collision with ocean waters while maneuvering for an undetermined reason."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 12 months
Accident number: ANC03FA096
Download report: Summary report


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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 Barrow-Wiley Post/Will Rogers Memorial Airport, AK to Wainwright Airport, AK as the crow flies is 136 km (85 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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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