On January 19, 2005, about 1330 Alaska standard time, a wheel/ski equipped Cessna 185 airplane, N9452N, sustained substantial damage while landing on a frozen, snow-covered lake, about 70 miles east of Eek, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country public use flight when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the State of Alaska, Department of Public Safety, Anchorage, Alaska. The private certificated pilot, a Fish and Wildlife Protection Officer, and the passenger, an Alaska State Trooper, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and VFR flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated at the Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska, about 1200. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on January 20, the supervisor for the State of Alaska's aircraft section reported that the pilot and passenger were en route to Heart Lake to conduct surveillance activities of caribou hunters in the area. The supervisor said that the pilot was landing on the snow-covered lake, with the airplane's skis selected to the down position. He said that during the landing roll, the airplane's right ski dug into the snow, and the right wing and right stabilizer struck the surface of the frozen lake. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and right stabilizer.
According to the pilot's written statement that was included with the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) and submitted by the State of Alaska, the pilot reported that he was landing to the west on the hard packed snow and ice-covered lake, which he thought would required a correction for a left crosswind. He said that after landing, and as the airplane neared the end of its 950 long landing roll, the nose of the airplane veered to the left, and the airplane's skis began to slide sideways atop the hard packed snow-covered ice. Unable to correct the veer, the airplane eventually turned about 90 degrees to the left, and the right ski dug into the snow. The right wing and right stabilizer subsequently struck the surface of the frozen lake. The pilot noted in his written report: "As I exited the pilot's side of the aircraft, I was extremely surprised to find that the wind was actually a left quartering tailwind, at about 15 knots."
The NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report did not disclose any preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.