ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Turbine Otter N725TH Freeland, WA
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 4 September 2022
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH3T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Turbine Otter
Operator:Friday Harbor Seaplane Tours
Registration: N725TH
MSN: 466
First flight: 1967
Engines: 1 General Electric H80
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Total:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3 km (1.9 mls) SW off Freeland, WA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Friday Harbor SPB, WA (FBS), United States of America
Destination airport:Renton Airport, WA (RNT/KRNT), United States of America
A float-equipped de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Turbine Otter, N725TH, was destroyed when it impacted the water in Mutiny Bay, Washington. All ten occupants were killed in the accident.

The accident flight departed from Friday Harbor Seaplane Base, Washington, about 14:50 with a destination of Renton-Will Rogers Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base, Washington. Track data indicated the airplane flew at an en route altitude of 650 to 975 ft above mean sea level (msl), and the groundspeed was between 115 and 125 knots.
At 15:08:43, the airplane pitched up about 8° and then abruptly pitched down about 58°. The data ended at 15:08:51, when the airplane’s altitude was 600 ft msl and the estimated descent rate was more than 9,500 ft per minute.

Witnesses near the accident site reported that the airplane was in level flight before it entered a slight climb, then pitched down in a near-vertical descent. The airplane continued in a nose low, spiraling, near-vertical descent until it impacted water in Mutiny Bay.

The wreckage was located a week later, at a depth of 190 feet.

Probable Cause:

Probable Cause: The in-flight unthreading of the clamp nut from the horizontal stabilizer trim actuator barrel due to a missing lock ring, which resulted in the horizontal stabilizer moving to an extreme trailing-edge-down position rendering the airplane’s pitch uncontrollable.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 1 months
Accident number: DCA22MA193
Download report: Final report

Horizontal stabilizer
Loss of control

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Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 10 Safety Recommendations

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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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DHC-3 Turbine Otter

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