NTSB Identification: WPR11CA098
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 12, 2011 in Austin, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N4030Z
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.

The pilot was on a local flight around his home airport when he decided to see how much snow was on the local mountains. He observed a ridge top airstrip where he had landed on several previous occasions, and saw that most of it was blown clear of snow. He overflew the airstrip, decided that it looked good, and made an uneventful landing. He walked around a bit, looked at snow depths, and then departed back to his home airport. During the takeoff roll, the airplane drifted too far to the right over what he thought was ground covered with light snow. It was actually a snow drift made from snow that had blown to the side of the ridge. The airplane started pulling to the right as a result of contact with the snow drift. The pilot still thought that the airplane would take off without difficulty, but the right main tire broke through the crust and dug in. The airplane nosed over onto the snow drift, resulting in substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll.

Full narrative available

Index for Jan2011 | Index of months