On March 8, 1997, about 1545 Alaska standard time, a ski equipped Cessna 170A, N1364D, crashed while taxiing for takeoff from a frozen lake about 17 miles west of Willow, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane, registered to and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The certificated commercial pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS), Kenai, Alaska, received notification of the accident from the pilot. The pilot indicated the airplane received damage to the landing gear and landing gearbox.

In the pilot/operator report (NTSB form 6120.1/2) submitted by the pilot, he indicated he was taxiing to takeoff at an excessive speed. Due to flat lighting conditions, the pilot did not see a frozen snow berm. The right landing gear ski crested the berm and then struck a second snow berm. The right main landing gear was torn from the airplane fuselage.

The closest official weather observation station is Wasilla, Alaska, which is located 17 nautical miles east of the accident site. On March 8, 1997, at 1553, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: Wind, 060 degrees (true) at 3 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds, 2,700 feet scattered, 4,200 feet broken, 5,000 feet overcast; temperature, 30 degrees F; dew point, 19 degrees F; altimeter, 29.61 inHg.

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