ANC00LA022
ANC00LA022

On January 26, 2000, at 1515 Alaska standard time, a Piper PA-32-301 airplane, N8004N, sustained substantial damage when it contacted a snow berm during landing on runway 01 at the Ekuk Airport, Ekuk, Alaska. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. The flight was operated by Peninsula Airways, Inc., of Anchorage, Alaska, under 14 CFR Part 135 as a cargo flight. The flight originated at 1505 from Clarks Point, Alaska. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company VFR flight plan was in effect.

During a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) on January 27, the pilot stated that the company flight scheduler told him the runway had been plowed, graded, and was open. The pilot related that the runway information was received from the village agent in Ekuk. The pilot said he made a low pass to inspect the runway, and it appeared open. He indicated the 1,200 feet long runway was plowed about 1,000 feet long, and about 40 feet wide, with the width varying. The pilot said that outside of the plowed area, there were six feet high snow berms. The airplane's wingtips were four feet high. The pilot stated the berms were "high enough for a Cessna 207, not quite high enough for Cherokee wings, and not visible from the air." The pilot told the IIC that during the landing roll, the left wing contacted a snow berm.

No record was found of the pilot receiving a weather brief from the FAA Flight Service Station, or from commercial DUATS vendors. No Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) were issued for runway conditions at Ekuk. Ekuk is a privately maintained runway, and is not supported by the State of Alaska. The Alaska Supplement contains a statement for the Ekuk Airport that "runways are not maintained during winter months."

Inspection of the airplane by an FAA airworthiness inspector on February 2, revealed substantial damage to the left wing leading edge, and several leading edge ribs.

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