NTSB Identification: ANC11CA020
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2011 in Beluga Lake, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18A 150, registration: N3573P
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 stated that he was landing the ski-equipped airplane on a glacier when the left ski got caught in the snow, and the airplane nosed over. The left wing and the vertical stabilizer sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

The airplane was equipped with a required emergency locator transmitter (ELT), however, it was an older generation ELT that transmitted on 121.5 megahertz, not the newer, digital version that transmits on 406 megahertz. As of February 1, 2009, the search and rescue satellites that receive ELT signals no longer had the capability to receive the older analog 121.5 megahertz ELTs. The 406 megahertz ELTs are received within seconds of activation, and rescuers are notified within minutes of the accident location. In this accident, the pilot was missing for four days, but was able to hike off the glacier, where he was located by rescuers.

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

The pilot's decision to land on unsuitable terrain, resulting in the airplane nosing over.

Full narrative available

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