National Transportation Safety Board found that the probable cause for the
crash of a de Havilland DHC-3 in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 7, 2013, was the
operator’s failure to determine the actual cargo weight, leading to the loading
and operation of the airplane outside of its weight and center of gravity
to the accident was the Federal Aviation Administration’s failure to require
weight and balance documentation for this type of air taxi flight.
flight was headed from Soldotna to a lodge 90 miles away when the airplane
stalled and crashed on takeoff. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and
post-crash fire and the pilot and nine passengers were fatally injured.
video of the airplane’s taxi, takeoff roll and takeoff was recovered from a
passenger’s personal electronic device. An NTSB video study indicated that
shortly after takeoff, the airplane’s angle of attack continually increased as
the airplane’s airspeed decreased from about 68 mph to about 44 mph over a
period of about 8.5 seconds. About 11 seconds after takeoff, airspeed and angle
of attack reached values consistent with an aerodynamic stall. The airplane
rolled right-wing-down and impacted the ground several seconds later.
The weight of the cargo recovered from the crash site, and determination of the weight of cargo destroyed in the impact and post-crash fire, showed the cargo weight was about 418 pounds higher than the cargo weight stated on the load
manifest, resulting in a center of gravity aft of the limits for the airplane.
Read the full report here: www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20130707X14623&key=1