ANC09LA023
ANC09LA023

On March 13, 2009, about 1600 Alaska daylight time, a ski-equipped Helio H-295 airplane, N6478V, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain while laying down tracks to pack snow on the snow-covered terrain prior to landing, at the Stampede airstrip, about 42 miles west of Healy, Alaska. The airplane was operated by Wright Air Service, Inc., Fairbanks, Alaska, as a visual flight rules (VFR), on-demand passenger flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, when the accident occurred. The airline transport pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight departed Fairbanks, Alaska, about 1510.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on March 14, the pilot said he was laying down tracks with the airplane's ski's to pack the snow on the airstrip prior to landing. He said when the airplane lifted off the snow, the wings encountered high brush, and he pulled back on the elevator control to clear the brush. He said as he did so, he believed the tail ski contacted the snow and dragged the airplane down into the brush. The pilot said there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident. The fuselage and empennage sustained structural damage during the encounter with brush and terrain.

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