NTSB Identification: SEA07LA018.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 15, 2006 in Fruitland, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Aviat A-1B, registration: N85HY
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.

Because he was wearing a life vest during the flight, the pilot's back began to ache, so he decided to land on a nearby snow-covered road to rest. After selecting the road, the pilot made three low passes over the road, each time rolling the aircraft's wheels along the surface to judge the depth and softness of the snow. After reaching the conclusion that the snow was about six inches deep, and soft enough for landing, the pilot attempted a full-stop landing on the tracks made during the previous passes. During the landing roll the aircraft broke through a crusted layer of snow, whereupon its wheels penetrated the snow to about 18 inches. As the aircraft broke through the crust layer, the pilot started to add power in an attempt to go around, but the main wheels dug into the snow, and the aircraft nosed over onto its back. In a post-accident telephone interview, the pilot stated that he had radio contact with individuals on the ground who could have reached the area he chose to land at in less than five minutes. He further stated that after the accident he realized that it would have been wise for him to ask those individuals to check the snow depth at the landing site before he tried to land there.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight decision to land on snow covered terrain. Deep snow on the terrain that the pilot chose to land on was a factor in this accident.

Full narrative available

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