On April 25, 2004, about 1745 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Cessna 182A airplane, N4861D, sustained substantial damage when it nosed over while landing in deep snow at a private airstrip, about 12 miles west of Skwentna, Alaska. The solo private pilot/airplane owner was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 local personal flight. The flight departed Merrill Field, Anchorage, Alaska, about 1700.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) on April 26, the pilot reported he was landing at a private airstrip near a friend's cabin. He said he flew over the runway, and observed what appeared to be a gravel surface showing through patchy snow, and ruts in the snow as if made by airplanes using the airstrip. He indicated that he felt it safe to land, but during the landing roll, the airplane's tires sank in deep snow, and the airplane nosed over, receiving structural damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage. The pilot said that after the accident, he discovered that black cinders had been spread on the runway surface to expedite the melting of the snow, and it was the cinders he saw, not the gravel surface of the runway.

The pilot did not complete the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB form 6120.1) as requested by the NTSB IIC.

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