WPR11CA098
WPR11CA098

The pilot was on a local flight around his home airport when he decided to see how much snow was on the local mountains. He observed a ridge top where he had landed on several previous occasions, and saw that most of it was blown clear of snow. He overflew the strip, and looked it over closely. He decided that it looked good, and made an uneventful landing. He walked around a bit, looked at snow depths, and then departed back to his home airport. During the takeoff roll, the airplane got a little too far to the right over onto what he thought was ground covered with light snow. It was actually a snow drift made from the snow that had blown to the side of the ridge. The airplane started pulling to the right as a result of contact with the snow drift. The pilot still thought that the airplane would take off without difficulty, but the right main tire broke through the crust and dug in. The airplane nosed over onto the snow drift. The pilot quickly shut off all switches, put his arm up to the ceiling to brace himself, and released his seat belt and shoulder harness. After just a few seconds, he went back into the airplane, shut off the fuel selector valve, and retrieved a snowmobile suit that he had in the baggage along with a global positioning system (GPS) unit, a personal locator beacon, and a survival kit. He was able to get a cell phone signal, and called his wife to set up a pick up point. He hiked, mostly in the dark, 2-3 miles with 3,000 feet of downhill elevation change through very deep snow to get to the pick up point.

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