NTSB Identification: LAX07CA070.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 31, 2006 in Jackpot, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N7769W
Injuries: 4 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.

The airplane veered off the runway during landing and collapsed the nose gear after encountering terrain. The pilot received flight following from ARTCC and the pilot inquired if there were any NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) for his destination, and they said that there were none. On final as he approached the ground, he noticed that only half or less of the runway pavement was showing. The rest looked like it had a cover of thin packed snow; he said that it was hard to judge if it was loose or packed, and how deep it was. He landed on the visible pavement, which was about 20 to 25 feet wide, and applied the brakes lightly. The airplane pulled to the right, and he countered with left rudder. The right main gear entered the snow, and the airplane veered sharply right and off the runway. The airplane encountered terrain, the nose wheel sheared off, and the cabin buckled aft of the firewall. The snow was found to be loosely packed, and about 6 inches deep. The pilot had landed on packed snow and ice on previous occasions without difficulty, but never on loose snow that thick. He stated that if there had been a NOTAM or UNICOM operator on duty to advise him of the runway conditions, he would have returned home.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain directional control after encountering loose snow conditions on the runway.

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