NTSB Identification: NYC04CA080.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 29, 2004 in Hornell, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2004
Aircraft: Bellanca 7ECA, registration: N86715
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During takeoff from a private snow-covered airstrip, the left ski encountered soft snow. The left ski imbedded into the snow and separated from the spring gear. The increased friction caused the right ski to drag and bend vertically. The airplane was near takeoff speed, and the pilot believed his only choice was to continue the flight. The pilot continued the takeoff, declared an emergency, and flew to a nearby public airport where emergency vehicles were awaiting. The pilot subsequently performed a "dead stick" precautionary landing to an asphalt runway. During the landing, the left wing struts bent and the spring gear was further damaged. The pilot had used the airstrip one day prior to the accident, and did not experience any problems. In addition, prior to the accident takeoff, the pilot taxied along the airstrip for 15 minutes, and did not note any problems with the runway.

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

An inadvertent encounter with soft snow during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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