Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Bookmark and Share this page

Accident Report Detail

Collision with Terrain Promech Air, Inc. de Havilland DHC-3, N270PA, Ketchikan, Alaska, June 25, 2015

Executive Summary

​On June 25, 2015, about 1215 Alaska daylight time, a single-engine, turbine-powered, float-equipped de Havilland DHC-3 (Otter) airplane, N270PA, collided with mountainous, tree-covered terrain about 24 miles east-northeast of Ketchikan, Alaska. The commercial pilot and eight passengers sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was owned by Pantechnicon Aviation, of Minden, Nevada, and operated by Promech Air, Inc., of Ketchikan. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as an on-demand sightseeing flight; a company visual flight rules flight plan (by which the company performed its own flight-following) was in effect. Marginal visual flight rules conditions were reported in the area at the time of the accident. The flight departed about 1207 from Rudyerd Bay about 44 miles east-northeast of Ketchikan and was en route to the operator’s base at the Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base, Ketchikan.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was (1) the pilot’s decision to continue visual flight into an area of instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his geographic disorientation and controlled flight into terrain; and (2) Promech’s company culture, which tacitly endorsed flying in hazardous weather and failed to manage the risks associated with the competitive pressures affecting Ketchikan-area air tour operators; its lack of a formal safety program; and its inadequate operational control of flight releases.

Accident Location: Ketchikan , AK USA  
Accident Date: 6/25/2015
Accident ID: ANC15MA041

Date Adopted: 4/25/2017
NTSB Number: AAR1702
NTIS Number: PB2017-102178