On April 17, 1995, about 1300 Alaska daylight time, a Douglas C54GDC airplane, N898AL, sustained substantial damage while landing at the Kivalina Airport, Kivalina, Alaska. Neither the airline transport certificated captain, the commercial certificated copilot, or the company employee jump seat rider were injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. A company flight plan was filed. The airplane was hauling fuel oil to be distributed at Kivalina.

The pilot reported in his written report to the NTSB that he had checked with the Galena Federal Aviation Administration Flight Service Station prior to departing for Kivalina. He said the only Notice To Airmen he received for Kivalina was that the runway had thin, packed snow on it. Upon reaching Kivalina, the pilot said he overflew the runway, and saw that, "...some of the runway lights were visible, none of the snow berms or snow drifts were visible. A little gravel was showing on the center line of the runway. Because of the time of day, there were no shades or any other indications of the height of the snow surrounding the runway..." The pilot's statement continues: "Shortly after touchdown (within 200' of the threshold and on the centerline) we hit with the left main gear a snow drift which pulled the airplane to the left. Staying a little left of the centerline we hit several more snow berms with the left main gear...the last snow berm we hit made the airplane pivot to the left stopping in the packed snow pointing approximately 70 degrees to the left from the runway heading with the left main just outside the runway lights and the right main inside the lights. The impact took out the nose gear and damaged the nose section of the aircraft."

The U.S. Government Alaska Airport Supplement, under Kivalina, Airport Remarks, states, in part: Unattended. CAUTION: RWY condition not monitored, recommend visual inspection prior to using.

The Kivalina Airport is owned by the State of Alaska, and runway maintenance is delegated to the City of Kivalina via a contractual agreement. The portion of the contract agreement pertaining to snow removal is appended.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page