On March 5, 1994, at 1230 Alaska standard time, a wheel equipped Cessna 152 airplane, N6469B, collided with a parked automobile at Birchwood Airport, Chugiak, Alaska, while taxiing. The student pilot, on a solo instructional flight under 14 CFR Part 91, was not injured. Meteorological conditions were visual for the local flight planned without a VFR flight plan on file. The ambient temperature range for the day was minus four fahrenheit (-4F) to a plus six (+6F) during that day. The airplane and the automobile received substantial damage.

Witnesses reported an abrupt departure of the airplane from directional control on the taxiway, whereby the airplane's wing and propeller struck the parked automobile, breaking the vehicle's back window and damaging the fender and side. The aircraft sustained damage to the right wing spar and propeller.

Investigators found that the airport operations are largely uncontrolled, allowing aircraft owners to leave vehicles adjacent taxiways, on parking ramps and within wingspan distances to moving aircraft. The vehicle was parked within the wingspan distance of light aircraft, having a 32 foot wingspan that passed more than eight feet off of center the taxiway centerline.

The student pilot had limited experience and no formal training in aircraft control and system hazards (brakes, hydraulics and oil) in extreme temperatures. Instructor had not adequately trained student for operations at low temperatures and was not prepared for freezing and seizing of main wheel brakes.

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