On November 27, 1995, about 1500 Alaska standard time, a wheel equipped Cessna 172, N4231F, collided with terrain during an unplanned departure from Bear Lake, about 34 miles west of Kasilof, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane, (registered to and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The certificated private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported that he was going to land to check on a remote cabin, located near the coast of Reboubt Bay. The intended landing was on the frozen surface of Bear Lake. The pilot noticed about 4 inches of snow on the surface and attempted to bounce the airplane on the ice surface to assess the ice condition. He indicated that he rapidly added engine power to begin a go-around but the engine hesitated and he decided to reduce power and land. After landing, the pilot noticed several areas of snow drift and some areas of standing water that had overflowed onto the ice.

The pilot attempted to make a takeoff path on the lake and decided to make several taxi runs to help in compacting any snow. During the taxi runs, the pilot indicated that he crossed several areas of standing water while holding aft elevator control to minimize any potential damage to the nose wheel of the airplane. During one of the taxi runs, the airplane suddenly became airborne and climbed to about 25 feet above the ground. The pilot attempted to push the control yoke forward but found the elevator was frozen. He reduced engine power and the airplane descended to the lake surface in a nose down attitude. The airplane received damage to the nose wheel, engine, and firewall. After the collision, the pilot noticed about 1 and 1/2 inches of ice on the empennage and elevator.

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