NTSB Identification: ANC05LA068.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 15, 2004 in Utopia, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N792FC
Injuries: 4 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 airline transport pilot was landing a twin engine airplane to the west on a 4,100 foot long, snow-covered gravel runway. The airport is surrounded by mountains, except to the east, requiring that arriving aircraft use the westerly runway, and departing aircraft use the easterly runway. Prior to landing, the pilot reported winds to be out of the east at 17 knots, with peak gusts to 29 knots. In an attempt to avoid turbulence while on approach, he selected a touchdown point that was about midpoint on the runway. Just before touchdown, a strong gust of wind lifted the airplane, and carried it further down the runway than the anticipated touchdown point. Without room to complete a successful go-around, the pilot landed the airplane on the remaining runway, and applied heavy braking action. The airplane overran the end of the runway, and struck a snow bank, sustaining structural damage to the fuselage. The pilot noted that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's misjudged distance/speed while on final approach to land, which resulted in an overrun during the landing roll. Factors associated with the accident are the pilot's inadequate weather evaluation, and a gusty tailwind. Full narrative available
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