NTSB Identification: ANC08LA031.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 15, 2008 in Bethel, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 208B, registration: N454SF
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 planning to land on an asphalt runway that had localized drifting and blowing snow. Instead, the airplane touched down in a snow-covered area of the airport between the runway and the adjacent taxiway. The pilot said that blowing snow and flat lighting conditions contributed to his difficulty in discerning the correct location of the runway. He said he "aimed for the darker area between the runway and the taxiway, believing this was the runway." The director of operations for the operator said that the depression between the runway and the taxiway had been filled with snow by runway maintenance personnel during snow removal operations. He indicated that the area had the illusion of a hard surface, but landing during reduced visibility due to blowing snow required the pilot to take advantage of any and all available resources, such as requesting the activation of the runway lights, and/or using the instrument landing system (ILS) localizer as a means of aligning the airplane with the centerline of the runway.

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

The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing. Contributing to the accident were snow-covered terrain, blowing snow and flat lighting conditions.

Full narrative available

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