On January 25, 2004, about 1030 Alaska standard time, a wheel-equipped Cessna 172 airplane, N1361U, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a snowbank during an aborted takeoff at the Girdwood Airport, Girdwood, Alaska. The private pilot/airplane owner and the sole passenger were not injured. The personal, cross country flight operated under Title 14, CFR Part 91, in visual meteorological conditions, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The intended destination was Homer, Alaska.

During telephone conversations with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) on January 25 and 26, the pilot related he was attempting to takeoff on runway 19. During the takeoff roll, he noticed that the airspeed indicator was not working, and he elected to abort the takeoff. He said he was unable to stop the airplane on the ice and snow-covered gravel runway before it collided with a snowbank at the end of the runway. The main landing gear collapsed upon impact with the snowbank, and the airplane received structural damage to the firewall bulkhead, fuselage, and the outboard 2 feet of the left wing.

In the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report Form submitted by the pilot, he indicated that during the takeoff roll the airspeed indicator read zero. He felt he still had adequate runway remaining to stop before reaching the end of the runway, and he elected to abort the takeoff. After applying the brakes, he realized he had insufficient runway left to stop on the runway, or reinitiate the takeoff, and the airplane subsequently collided with the snowbank at the end of the runway. The pilot stated that during the preflight inspection, the pitot heat was working properly, and the static port was clear. He said he kept the pitot heat on during taxi and run-up. He noted that he had not had any previous problems with the airspeed indicator, and that the airspeed indicator's failure may have been due to ice in the pitot-static system. He reported the braking action was good during the taxi and run-up.

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