Aircraft Incident/Accident Report
Elk City Airport

Elk City, Idaho 83525
Thursday, December 25, 2003 18:25 PST

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NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident
The pilot reported he was unable to land at the planned destination due to deteriorating weather conditions and diverted to Grangeville, Idaho, approximately 33 miles to the southeast. The pilot arrived at the alternate airport, but stated he was unable to activate the runway lights and elected to divert to Elk City, Idaho. The pilot stated he attempted to land, however, aborted the landing due to snowmobiles on the runway. The pilot stated multiple attempts to land were made, but each was aborted due to snowmobile activity on the runway. The pilot stated that during the climb after the last landing attempt, "the crash occurred with no remembrance of the crash." According to the manager of the Elk City Airport, the airplane made several low passes over the runway. He reported that on the last pass, from north to south, he observed the airplane making a steep climbing turn to the left. Shortly thereafter, the airplane impacted wooded terrain east of the runway. The airport manager also stated that there were snowmobiles operating on and around the airstrip prior to the accident. He reported that the snowmobile operators were attempting to guide the pilot to the unlit runway. The Elk City Airport is located in mountainous terrain. The airport elevation is 4,097 feet above sea level. The airport has a single turf/gravel curved runway that is 2,600 feet long and 150 feet wide. The U.S. Government Airport/Facilities Directory (A/FD) states that the runway is not maintained in the winter. The airport is not equipped with a rotating beacon or runway lighting. The accident occurred approximately two hours after sunset, in dark night conditions. At the time of the accident, the runway was covered with approximately 12 inches of snow. FAA records indicated the pilot received a private pilot certificate (SEL), on December 20, 2003, five days prior to the accident.
NTSB Probable Cause Narrative
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees during a go-around. Factors include dark night conditions and trees.
Event Information
Type of EventAccident 
Event Date12/25/2003 
Event Day of the WeekThursday 
Time of Event1825 
Event Time ZonePacific Standard Time 
Event CityElk City 
Event StateIDAHO 
Event Country-- 
Zipcode of the event site83525 
Event Date Year2003 
Event Date Month12 
MidAir Collision IndicatorNo 
On Ground Collision occurred ?No 
Event Location Latitude454922N 
Event Location Longitude1152613W 
Event Location AirportELK CITY 
Event Location Nearest Airport IDS90 
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airportOn Airport 
Distance from airport in statute miles0.05 
Degrees magnetic from airport90 
Airport Elevation4097 
Weather Briefing CompletenessUnknown 
Investigator's weather sourceWeather Observation Facility 
Time of the weather observation1856 Mountain Standard Time 
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees)264 
Weather Observation Facility IDKLWS 
Elevation of weather observation facility1438 
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?)74 
Time Zone of the weather observationMST 
Lighting ConditionsNight/Dark 
Lowest Ceiling Height3700 
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height1900 
Sky/Lowest/Cloud ConditionsScattered 
Sky Condition for Lowest CeilingBroken 
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet)-- 
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles)-- 
Visibility (Statute Miles)
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius)
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit)
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic)-- 
Variable Wind Indicator-- 
Wind Speed (knots)-- 
Wind Velocity Indicator -- 
Wind Gust IndicatorUnknown 
Wind Gust (knots) -- 
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 29.85 
Density Altitude (feet)-- 
Intensity of PrecipitationLight 
METAR weather report -- 
Event Highest InjurySerious 
On Ground, Fatal Injuries-- 
On Ground, Minor Injuries-- 
On Ground, Serious Injuries-- 
Injury Total Fatal-- 
Injury Total Minor-- 
Injury Total None-- 
Injury Total Serious
Injury Total All
Investigating AgencyNTSB 
NTSB Docket Number (internal use)16194 
NTSB Notification SourceFAA-ROC  
NTSB Notification DateDec 25 2003 12:00AM 
NTSB Notification Time1910 
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket informationDMS 
Date of most recent change to recordSep 1 2004 7:08AM 
User who most recently changed recordNTSB\MONR  
Basic weather conditionsVisual Meteorological Cond 
FAA District OfficeSpokane, Washington 
Aircraft Involved
Aircraft #1
Aircraft Registration NumberN1363U 
NTSB NumberSEA04LA030 
Missing Aircraft Indicator-- 
Federal Aviation Reg. PartPart 91: General Aviation 
Type of Flight Plan filedNone 
Flight plan Was Activated?No 
DamageSubstantial 
Aircraft FireNone 
Aircraft ExplosionNone 
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full NameCessna 
Aircraft Model172M 
Aircraft Series Identifier-- 
Aircraft Serial Number17267034 
Certified Max Gross Weight2600 
Aircraft CategoryAirplane 
Aircraft Registration ClassU.S. Registered/U.S. Soil 
Aircraft is a homebuilt?No 
Flight Crew Seats-- 
Cabin Crew Seats-- 
Passenger Seats-- 
Total number of seats on the aircraft
Number of Engines
Fixed gear or retractable gearFixed 
Aircraft, Type of Last InspectionAnnual 
Date of Last InspectionJan 13 2003 12:00AM 
Airframe hours since last inspection-- 
Airframe Hours5211 
ELT InstalledYes 
ELT ActivatedYes 
ELT Aided Location of Event SiteNo 
ELT Type-- 
Aircraft Owner NameMichael D. Dahle 
Aircraft Owner Street Address-- 
Aircraft Owner CityPreston  
Aircraft Owner StateID 
Aircraft Owner CountryUSA  
Aircraft Owner Zipcode83263 
Operator is an individual?No 
Operator Name-- 
Operator Same as Owner?Yes 
Operator Is Doing Business As-- 
Operator Address Same as Owner?Yes 
Operator Street Address-- 
Operator City-- 
Operator State-- 
Operator Country-- 
Operator Zip code-- 
Operator Code-- 
Owner has at least one certificateNone 
Other Operator of large aircraft?-- 
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation-- 
Operator Certificate Number-- 
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not-- 
Indicates Domestic or International Flight-- 
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail-- 
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary)Personal 
Second Pilot on BoardNo 
Departure Point Same as EventNo 
Departure Airport CodeU10  
Departure CityPRESTON 
Departure StateID 
Departure CountryUSA 
Departure Time1550 
Departure Time ZoneMST 
Destination Same as Local Fltcrash at destination city 
Destination Airport CodeS90  
Destination CityELK CITY 
Destination StateID 
Destination CountryUSA 
Specific Phase of FlightManeuvering 
Report sent to ICAO?No 
Evacuation occurredNo 
Date of most recent change to recordJun 22 2004 5:54PM 
User who most recently changed recordSTAM  
Since inspection or accidentLast Inspection 
Event Location Runway Number and Location14 
Runway Length2600 
Runway Width150 
Sight Seeing flightNo 
Air Medical FlightNo 
Medical Flight--