NTSB Identification: ANC90LA043.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40645.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 16, 1990 in SULATNA CROSS, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N4659C
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 STATED THAT HE WAS ATTEMPTING TO TAKE OFF FROM A FROZEN LAKE AT DUSK. LOOSE SNOW ON THE SURFACE OF THE LAKE ADVERSELY AFFECTED THE AIRPLANE'S TAKEOFF DISTANCE. THE PILOT SAID THAT SHORTLY AFTER LIFT OFF, THE AIRPLANE'S HORIZONTAL STABILIZER STRUCK A TREE, AND THAT HE MADE AN IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY LANDING. THE PILOT SAID THAT THE ACCIDENT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF HE HAD WAITED FOR BETTER LIGHTING CONDITIONS, OR IF HE WOULD HAVE ABORTED THE TAKEOFF EARLY IN THE TAKEOFF ROLL.

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

THE PILOT FAILED TO ADEQUATELY ASSESS THE EXISTING SNOW CONDITIONS AND SURROUNDING TERRAIN (PREFLIGHT PLANNING) PRIOR TO TAKEOFF. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE: THE LIGHTING CONDITIONS, THE PILOT'S OVER CONFIDENCE IN THE AIRPLANE'S PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES AND THE SNOW COVERED TERRAIN.

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