NTSB Identification: ANC10CA060
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 12, 2010 in Palmer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N6594D
Injuries: 3 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 pilot stated that he had flown over the Knik Glacier before, but he had been solo at the time and this was his first time with passengers. He approached the glacier at 1,500 feet mean sea level (msl) and initiated a climb. He noticed that the airplane's performance was degraded compared to his previous crossings, and he attributed it to the extra weight of his two passengers; however, he believed he would still make it over the glacier. At the 8,000 feet msl he noticed that he was much closer to the glacier than he expected and decided to turn back. He started a right turn, but the airplane was too low and slow and began to stall. First the right wing tip hit the snow, then the left wing tip hit before the the airplane nosed into the snow and over. The pilot and passengers egressed from the inverted airplane and were rescued about an hour later.

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

The pilot's decision to fly towards rising terrain that exceeded the climb capability of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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