Elk City Airport
Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

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

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 Event Accident
Event Date 12/25/2003
Event Day of the Week Thursday
Time of Event 1825
Event Time Zone Pacific Standard Time
Event City Elk City
Event State IDAHO
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 83525
Event Date Year 2003
Event Date Month 12
MidAir Collision Indicator No
On Ground Collision occurred ? No
Event Location Latitude 454922N
Event Location Longitude 1152613W
Event Location Airport ELK CITY
Event Location Nearest Airport ID S90
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport On Airport
Distance from airport in statute miles 0.05
Degrees magnetic from airport 90
Airport Elevation 4097
Weather Briefing Completeness Unknown
Investigator's weather source Weather Observation Facility
Time of the weather observation 1856 Mountain Standard Time
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) 264
Weather Observation Facility ID KLWS
Elevation of weather observation facility 1438
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) 74
Time Zone of the weather observation MST
Lighting Conditions Night/Dark
Lowest Ceiling Height 3700
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height 1900
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Scattered
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling Broken
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet) --
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles) --
Visibility (Statute Miles) 9
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius) 4
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit) 3
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic) --
Variable Wind Indicator --
Wind Speed (knots) --
Wind Velocity Indicator --
Wind Gust Indicator Unknown
Wind Gust (knots) --
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 29.85
Density Altitude (feet) --
Intensity of Precipitation Light
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury Serious
On Ground, Fatal Injuries --
On Ground, Minor Injuries --
On Ground, Serious Injuries --
Injury Total Fatal --
Injury Total Minor --
Injury Total None --
Injury Total Serious 2
Injury Total All 2
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 16194
NTSB Notification Source FAA-ROC
NTSB Notification Date Dec 25 2003 12:00AM
NTSB Notification Time 1910
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information DMS
Date of most recent change to record Sep 1 2004 7:08AM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\MONR
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office Spokane, Washington

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft Registration Number N1363U
NTSB Number SEA04LA030
Missing Aircraft Indicator --
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 91: General Aviation
Type of Flight Plan filed None
Flight plan Was Activated? No
Damage Substantial
Aircraft Fire None
Aircraft Explosion None
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Cessna
Aircraft Model 172M
Aircraft Series Identifier --
Aircraft Serial Number 17267034
Certified Max Gross Weight 2600
Aircraft Category Airplane
Aircraft Registration Class U.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 4
Number of Engines 1
Fixed gear or retractable gear Fixed
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection Annual
Date of Last Inspection Jan 13 2003 12:00AM
Airframe hours since last inspection --
Airframe Hours 5211
ELT Installed Yes
ELT Activated Yes
ELT Aided Location of Event Site No
ELT Type --
Aircraft Owner Name Michael D. Dahle
Aircraft Owner Street Address --
Aircraft Owner City Preston
Aircraft Owner State ID
Aircraft Owner Country USA
Aircraft Owner Zipcode 83263
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 certificate None
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 Board No
Departure Point Same as Event No
Departure Airport Code U10
Departure City PRESTON
Departure State ID
Departure Country USA
Departure Time 1550
Departure Time Zone MST
Destination Same as Local Flt crash at destination city
Destination Airport Code S90
Destination City ELK CITY
Destination State ID
Destination Country USA
Specific Phase of Flight Maneuvering
Report sent to ICAO? No
Evacuation occurred No
Date of most recent change to record Jun 22 2004 5:54PM
User who most recently changed record STAM
Since inspection or accident Last Inspection
Event Location Runway Number and Location 14
Runway Length 2600
Runway Width 150
Sight Seeing flight No
Air Medical Flight No
Medical Flight --