NTSB Identification: LAX97LA077.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 25, 1996 in EMIGRANT GAP, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 140, registration: N76857
Injuries: 1 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 stated that he was making a low pass over the closed, snow covered runway to determine if a precautionary landing could be made due to 'unusual engine roughness.' During the low pass the airplane unexpectedly settled on the snow covered runway. He stated that this was due to the 'featureless condition of the snow covered runway and a gradual rise in ground elevation [which] caused a decreased depth perception.' The pilot reported that the snow covered condition of the runway resulted in a rapid deceleration of the aircraft's speed, the aircraft landing, and nosing over once it came to a stop. An FAA inspector reported that there was approximately 1 foot of snow on the runway, and that the aircraft traveled about 30 yards after it touched down midfield. The inspector also reported that no discrepancies were identified with the engine or airframe.

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

the pilot's misjudgment of altitude/clearance while attempting a precautionary landing on a closed, snow covered runway.

Full narrative available

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