ANC11LA006
ANC11LA006

On December 22, 2010, about 0950 Alaska standard time, a Piper PA-31-350 airplane, N45052, sustained substantial damage during landing at the Saint Michael Airport, Saint Michael, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by Bering Air Inc., Nome, Alaska, as a visual flight rules(VFR) passenger flight under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations Part 135, when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot and the sole passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following was in effect.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on January 4, 2011, the director of operations for the operator said the airplane landed at the airport with a flat nose wheel tire. He said the pilot was unable to control the airplane's direction, and the airplane left the runway surface down a steep bank. He said during the runway excursion the airplane received substantial damage to the left wing spar.

In a written statement dated January 13, 2011, the pilot reiterated what he had told the director of operations. He further reported that prior to touch down, he saw the nose tire in a mirror, and it appeared to be inflated. He wrote that as the airplane slowed and the nose wheel touched it was apparent that there was a problem. He said full opposite rudder and brake did not keep the airplane on the runway.

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