Dark conditions could have caused Kwig wreck

by Angela Denning-Barnes on December 1, 2011

Preliminary information by the National Transportation Safety Board has been released about the commercial airplane that flipped over in Kwigillingok on November 7. Six people were on board the Hageland flight. Three sustained minor injuries and three were not injured, including the pilot.

According to a preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, the accident happened while the plane was attempting to leave the Kwigillingok airport, headed for Bethel. The plane had already made a stop in Kongiganak. When the pilot was attempting to take-off at Kwigillingok, the plane bounced twice but it failed to climb. The pilot said that as he approached the end of the run-way, the plane veered left, which he tried to correct, but wasn’t able to, and then the plane went off the run-way and nosed over. The plane eventually settled on snow-covered tundra , about 100 yards south of the run-way.

The run-way in Kwigillingok is not monitored and night flying is prohibited unless it’s a helicopter. Conditions had just turned dark at the time of the wreck. Run-way conditions were also reported as having eroded and soft areas.

The NTSB plans to continue their investigation and prepare a final report.

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