NTSB Identification: ANC00LA038.
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Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, March 27, 2000 in FAIRBANKS, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R, registration: N8540F
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 commercial certificated pilot obtained a Special VFR clearance and departed on the first portion of a cargo flight. The visibility at the airport was 2 1/2 miles in light snow. After departure, the pilot said the sky condition worsened, becoming more obscured and indefinite. He decided to return to the airport and obtained a Special VFR clearance back to the airport. He was cleared to land on a runway which does not have a visual approach slope indicator (VASI). During the landing approach, the pilot said he could see the approach end of the runway, but the lighting conditions were very flat. The airplane collided with snow-covered terrain, about 25 yards short of the approach end of the runway. The landing gear was sheared off, and the airplane received damage to the engine cowling, belly structure, and wing spars.

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

The pilot's misjudgment of distance/altitude, and subsequent undershoot during landing. Factors in the accident were light snow precipitation, flat light conditions, snow-covered terrain, and the absence of a visual approach slope indicator.

Full narrative available

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