CHI04LA058
CHI04LA058

On January 17, 2004, at 1105 eastern standard time, a Cessna 310R, N6102X, collided with a snow bank following a loss of directional control while landing on runway 04 (5,103 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) at the St. Clair County Airport (PHN), Port Huron, Michigan. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in instrument meteorological conditions on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated in Albany, New York, at 0840.

The pilot stated that while en route she listened to the automated weather observing system (AWOS) at PHN. She stated she received the weather along with a notice to airmen (NOTAM) which reported the runway braking [Bowmonk scale] measurements of 33, 35, and 36 MU along with light snow. The pilot stated she was handed off to air traffic control at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base (MTC) who relayed the same information. She stated that neither the AWOS nor the controller at MTC indicated any rapid condition changes.

The pilot stated she flew the approach to runway 04, breaking out of the clouds at 600 feet above the ground. She stated "I don't believe there was ever any traction obtained, aircraft began a slide towards left side of runway." The pilot reported the left main gear contacted a snow berm on the side of the runway. The nose of the airplane swung around and contacted the berm, collapsing the nose gear. She stated the airplane came to rest 20 feet off the left side of the runway approximately 1,000 feet past the approach end of the runway.

The pilot reported that the owner of the local fixed base operator came out to the runway in his pickup truck to offer assistance. She stated he also experienced no braking and that his truck also slid into the snow berm on the side of the runway.

The runway friction was tested at 1002 and the NOTAM was issued at 1015. The Bowmonk readings for runway 04 were 35, 33, and 36. The NOTAM issued contained the remarks 1/2 inch loose snow over patchy ice, compacted snow and ice all surfaces, executive ramp closed.

Section 3 Airport Operations, Paragraph 4-3-9 of the Airmen's Information Manual states, "MU (friction) values range from 0 to 100 where zero is the lowest friction value and 100 is the maximum friction value obtainable. For frozen contaminants on runway surfaces, a MU value of 40 or less is the level when the aircraft braking performance starts to deteriorate and directional control begins to be less responsive. The lower the MU value, the less effective braking performance becomes and the more difficult directional control becomes."

Winds reported at PHN 10 minutes after the accident were from 170 degrees at 8 knots.

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