NTSB Identification: ANC97LA040.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 27, 1997 in CHUGIAK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 185, registration: N4855C
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, a licensed aviation mechanic, had just installed wheel penetration skis on the main landing gear of his personal airplane. During a subsequent test flight, the skis immediately rotated nose up to a near vertical position. The pilot continued around the traffic pattern, and landed in snow just prior to the start of the runway. The skis failed to come out of the near vertical position, and during the landing roll, one ski broke off, causing the gear leg to penetrate the snow, which allowed the right wing and elevator to strike the snow. Postaccident examination of the skis disclosed the ski check cables at the heel of the skis were excessively long.

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

The pilot's improper installation of the main landing gear wheel penetration skis, which allowed the skis to rotate to a vertical position in flight and subsequently separate during landing.

Full narrative available

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