ANC05LA042
ANC05LA042

On February 20, 2005, about 1300 Alaska standard time, a ski-equipped Piper J-5A airplane, N270JS, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a snow berm during a precautionary landing, about 28 miles west-southwest of Kenai, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The commercial certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at the Soldotna Airport, Soldotna, Alaska, at 1130. No flight plan was filed, nor was one required.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on February 23, the pilot reported that while in cruise flight, he noticed the engine oil pressure gauge was indicating high, near the maximum limit. He did not recall the engine oil temperature. The pilot decided to make a precautionary landing toward the west on a rural road, about 3 miles northwest of the Driftriver, Alaska, airport. The remote, snow-covered road was about 25 feet wide and straight, with no obstacles. During the landing flare, the pilot said that flat light conditions prevented him from seeing a plowed snow berm along the right edge of the road. About 5 feet above the ground, the pilot said the right main landing gear ski collided with the snow berm, and spun the airplane 180 degrees. The airplane then continued backwards into a large snow bank. The airplane received structural damage to the right wing and fuselage.

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