NTSB Identification: CEN09CA109
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 17, 2008 in Ely, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N845D
Injuries: 2 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.

About 5 minutes after takeoff, the airplane's cabin door opened about 1/4 inch. The pilot returned and landed on runway 30, which was snow-covered. The pilot stated that during the landing rollout, he noticed the airplane pulling "slightly" to the left, which he attributed to a stuck left main landing gear wheel. He applied right rudder to keep the airplane on the runway centerline, but as the airplane slowed it pulled more to the left. The pilot stated that he did not reduce or shut down engine power but instead used 1,200 rpm in an attempt to increase rudder effectiveness. He also did not use right brake to maintain directional control. The airplane impacted a snow bank, damaging the right wing tip and outboard section of the wing. The pilot reported that the left wheel plowed through the snow on the runway and did not rotate during the landing. The pilot and passenger were uninjured.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing. Contributing to the accident were the reduced left main landing gear wheel rotation for undetermined reasons and the snow-covered runway.

Full narrative available

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