On March 28, 2002, about 1500 Alaska standard time, a wheel-equipped Piper PA-18 airplane, N5408Y, sustained substantial damage during the landing roll at the Skelton Airstrip, about 35 miles northeast of Chickaloon, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the student pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) instructional flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The student pilot and the certificated flight instructor were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Palmer Municipal Airport, Palmer, Alaska, about 1100.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on April 1, the flight instructor said when she and the student flew over the Skelton airstrip, they discussed suitable landing sites. The runway had varying degrees of snow coverage, some areas appeared to have been plowed, and other areas had high snow berms. After discussing what they thought would be a suitable landing site, the student started the approach, landing to the west. The student landed the airplane on a section of the runway different from the section the instructor had expected, and the airplane skidded on the ice. The flight instructor took control of the airplane, but she was not able to control the skid. The left wing of the airplane struck the windsock pole. She said the student told her where he landed was where he thought they had agreed upon.

During a telephone conversation with the IIC on April 1, the student pilot's mechanic said both wing spars, and the tail of the airplane were damaged in the accident.

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