On February 14, 2002, about 1400 Alaska standard time, a Boeing 727-100 airplane, N190AJ, sustained substantial damage during an approach to landing at the Ralph Wien Memorial Airport, Kotzebue, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as an instrument flight rules (IFR) cargo flight under Title 14, CFR Part 121, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by Northern Air Cargo, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, as Flight 20. The airline transport certificated pilot, and the three other crewmembers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Fairbanks Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on February 15, 2002, and a subsequent meeting on February 19, 2002, the director of operations for the operator said that the pilot was making a visual approach. He said that the pilot overshot the centerline of the runway while making the left turn from the base leg to the final segment of the approach. On the final segment of the approach, the pilot made a left, and then a right turn, attempting to realign the airplane with the centerline. During the right turn, the right wing struck the snow-covered ground. The pilot landed the airplane without further incident.

During a meeting with the operator's director of maintenance on February 19, 2002, the director of maintenance said the right wing's outboard leading-edge slat was replaced because of the damage received in the accident, and the right wingtip was repaired. No other portions of the airplane were damaged. He said there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

In a written statement, the pilot said he was executing the Vor Dme 2 Rwy 26 approach when he received information from Kotzebue radio that the winds favored runway 8. He told the co-pilot to tell Kotzebue radio they would circle and land on runway 8. The pilot wrote, "on the turn to final, I overshot the centerline of the runway and started correcting to the centerline." He said he was still "slightly correcting to centerline," when his "right wing dipped causing the right main to touch first." He said he was not aware of the wing dragging or the damage, until the flight engineer did a visual inspection of the airplane prior to departure.

In a written statement, the first officer said "... upon rollout of 180 degree turn to runway 8. Yukon 20 was positioned outward from the visual centerline of runway 8 and continued toward runway 8 at an approximate 20-30 degree intercept, 060 to 050 heading. Upon approaching touchdown right wingtip struck ice, snow or combination of both at touchdown."

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