On April 3, 1993, at 1400 Alaska standard time, a ski equipped Cessna 170 airplane, N4190V, crashed during takeoff from the Sky Harbor Private Airport, aka O'Malley Airstrip, Anchorage, Alaska. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The personal flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, was destined for Kotzebue, Alaska. Visual meteorological conditions existed, and a VFR flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Immediately after the accident, during a telephone interview, the pilot said the following in part: "I was taking off downhill to the south. The runway condition was very slushy with about a foot of heavy wet snow on the surface. The main gear had skis, but the tail gear had a wheel. The tail wheel dragging in the snow kept me from getting airborne until I was about 3/4 way down the runway. I got the tail up once, then I tried to rotate too soon and put the tail wheel back into the snow, and that slowed me down more. I should have aborted then, but thought I could still get off okay. I got airborne and was flying in ground effect, but never did get the desired takeoff airspeed. When I reached the end of the runway there was a kind of a drop off. I lost ground effect, and the airplane dropped and would not gain altitude. The airplane then collided with some trees and hit a snowbank. I was close, but not over, the maximum gross weight of the airplane." The pilot and several persons who went to the crash site immediately after the accident described substantial damage that was done to both of the airplanes wings.
The pilot stated that he had only about 2 hours as pilot of an airplane equipped with skis. Those 2 hours had been while flying the accident airplane with a more experienced pilot/friend on the day prior to the accident. That was also the only time he had flown an airplane with a tailwheel. The pilot had just recently purchased the airplane. At the time of the accident he was starting his flight back home after completion of the airplanes annual inspection on the previous day.