NTSB Identification: CHI04LA059.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 18, 2004 in Marine City, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-350P, registration: N46WD
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 airplane impacted a snow bank while landing on runway 04 (3,100 feet by 60 feet, snow and ice covered asphalt). The pilot stated that the airplane was aligned with the runway centerline and upon touchdown the airplane began veering to the left. He attempted to correct the left swerve with the use of right rudder. The airplane continued veering to the left until it impacted a four-foot high snow bank alongside the runway and came to rest in a ditch. The airport manager reported that the runway had a 1/16 inch layer of ice covered by a 1/2 inch of dry snow at the time of the accident. The manager also reported the tire tracks on the runway showed the airplane traveled straight on the runway for about 200 feet prior to a sweeping left curve. The pilot stated that prior to takeoff, the left main wheel crossed an area of snow ridges standing several inches high. The pilot stated that he did not apply full brake pressure prior to the takeoff. A post accident examination did not find any discrepancies with either brake caliber, and detected no water or foreign objects in the brake lines. The inspection revealed that the left brake functioned as designed. The reported winds, 12 miles from the accient site, were from 290 degrees at 13 knots.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control of the airplane during landing. Factors associated with the accident were the icy snow covered runway, the tailwind conditions, the snowbank, and the ditch which the airplane contacted.

Full narrative available

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