At about 1915 Alaska time, the airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power after takeoff on a Part 135 on-demand sightseeing flight. The commercial pilot and six passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left elevator and empennage. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot later stated he took off and reduced power to a cruise climb setting. The engine began to run rough and he could not maintain altitude. Shortly, the engine failed. He made a forced landing to a gravel bar on the Chulitna River. Initial examination of the engine revealed the number two cylinder head had cracks radiating from the spark plug hole throughout the cylinder head, and had begun to separate from the cylinder base.