NTSB Identification: FTW96LA084.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 06, 1996 in ASPEN, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/17/1996
Aircraft: Learjet 60, registration: XAICA
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 captain said he aligned the airplane with what he thought was the runway centerline. The airplane touched down in a snow field 1,000 feet beyond the runway threshold and 25 feet to the right of runway centerline. The nose landing gear collapsed and, after traveling through several snow berms, the airplane skidded back onto the runway and came to a halt at the 4,000 foot mark. The captain said he was unable to positively identify the runway environment due to the blending of the snow-covered runway and surrounding terrain. The runway had been plowed and swept. The runway lights were covered with plowed snow and were not visible nor operating. Excess snow and dirt were dumped on the right side of the runway. The sun was bright and high in the sky. A NOTAM had been issued, noting that the runway was snow packed and covered with ice. Braking action was reported to be 'fair.'

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

The pilot's improper in-flight decision to continue with the landing when the runway had not been positively identified. Factors were the snow-covered runway and landing area, sun glare, and the inadequate snow removal by airport personnel.

Full narrative available

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