NTSB Identification: SEA96LA018.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 15, 1995 in SEELEY LAKE, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-160, registration: N8431D
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE OVERFLEW THE RUNWAY TO TRY TO DETERMINE THE DEPTH OF THE SNOW ON THE RUNWAY. THE PILOT SAW TIRE TRACKS NEXT TO THE RUNWAY AND THOUGHT THAT THE DEPTH WAS ABOUT TWO INCHES. THE PILOT INITIATED AN APPROACH FOR A LANDING. DURING THE LANDING ROLL, THE NOSE WHEEL DUG INTO THE SNOW AND THE AIRPLANE NOSED OVER. IT WAS LATER DETERMINED THAT THE SNOW WAS FIVE INCHES DEEP WITH A CRUSTY TOP LAYER. THE AIRPORT/FACILITY DIRECTORY STATES THAT THE AIRPORT WAS CLOSED AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT'S SELECTION OF UNSUITABLE TERRAIN FOR LANDING. THE SNOW COVERED RUNWAY WAS A FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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