NTSB Identification: ANC05LA035.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 15, 2005 in Koyukuk, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2005
Aircraft: Bellanca 8GCBC, registration: N86911
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After taxiing to the north end of a remote, snow-covered lake that was 3,000 feet long, the private certificated pilot took off in a ski-equipped airplane. The pilot said the snow was about 5 feet deep, and the temperature was about 40 degrees F, making the snow conditions sticky. He indicated that his departure was toward the south, and the wind was from the south, about 10 knots. He applied full engine power and began the takeoff run, which was initially slow until the skis of the airplane dropped into previously compacted ski tracks. The airplane lifted off from the snow near the south end of the lake, and climbed to about 5 feet above the snow. The pilot said he began a gentle left turn in an attempt to avoid spruce trees at the south end of the lake, but the left wingtip of the airplane brushed the snow, pulling the airplane slightly left and slowing the climb. The pilot said he knew the airplane would not clear the trees, and he landed the airplane in deep snow. The airplane rapidly decelerated and nosed down. It received structural damage to the right wing and right main landing gear.

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

The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for takeoff, which resulted in an in flight collision with the snow during takeoff initial climb. A factor contributing to the accident was soft snow conditions.

Full narrative available

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