NTSB Identification: DEN07CA057.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 21, 2007 in Craig, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Smith, Ted Aerostar 601P, registration: N88JE
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.

According to the pilot, he had been informed by an individual located at the airport that the runway had been plowed. However, the runway had not been plowed, and there was approximately two inches of snow on the runway surface. Due to "bright whiteout conditions" surrounding the airport, the pilot reported that there was "no visible contrast to any roads or runways on the airport." During the approach, the pilot observed two ridges of snow approximately 50 feet apart, which he assumed to be the runway. Subsequently, the pilot landed the airplane in the snow adjacent to the runway. Upon touchdown, the nose and right main gear collapsed. Examination of the airplane revealed the forward pressure bulkhead was damaged, and the right aileron was buckled.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight planning and unsuitable area selected for landing. A contributing factor was the snow covered terrain and runway.

Full narrative available

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