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Last updated: 6 December 2021
Date:Monday 3 December 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Operator:Era Alaska
Registration: N169LJ
MSN: 208B0599
First flight: 1997
Total airframe hrs:11516
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) NE of Mekoryuk-Ellis Field, AK (MYU) (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Mekoryuk-Ellis Field, AK (MYU/PAMY), United States of America
Destination airport:Bethel Airport, AK (BET/PABE), United States of America
Flightnumber: 140
A Cessna 208B airplane, N169LJ, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from the Mekoryuk Airport, Alaska. Of the nine people aboard, the two pilots and six passengers were not injured, and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was being operated as Era Alaska Flight 140 to Bethel, Alaska.
The pilot-in-command (PIC) stated that the second-in-command (SIC) was the flying pilot for the flight to Bethel. He said that the takeoff and initial climb were normal, but shortly after passing 1,000 feet, the engine "coughed," started vibrating, and lost power. An attempt to restart the engine was not successful. The PIC assumed control of the airplane, and landed on a frozen bay approximately 5 miles northeast of the Mekoryuk Airport. Witnesses at the airport observed the airplane descending, and responded with snow machines, and all-terrain vehicles to transport the airplane's occupants back to Mekoryuk.
During the forced landing the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing.

A postaccident engine examination, performed at the facilities of Pratt & Whitney Canada, St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada, and under the direction of a senior NTSB powerplants investigator, revealed that a blade on the first stage compressor rotor failed as a result of a fatigue fracture. The fatigue crack initiated from the leading edge area and then propagated towards the trailing edge, and at mid-chord, the blade released by tensile overload. The initiation of the fracture could not be determined because of secondary damage to the fracture surface.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The total loss of engine power as a result of a fractured first-stage compressor blade due to fatigue cracking. The source of the fatigue crack could not be determined due to secondary damage sustained to the fracture surface"

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Accident number: ANC13LA012
Download report: Summary report

All engine powerloss
Forced landing outside airport



photo of Cessna-208B-Grand-Caravan-N169LJ
accident date: 03-12-2012
type: Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
registration: N169LJ

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 Mekoryuk-Ellis Field, AK to Bethel Airport, AK as the crow flies is 244 km (153 miles).

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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