CEN12LA126
CEN12LA126

On January 6, 2012, about 1600 mountain standard time, an Aviat Aircraft Inc A-1B, N127AK, nosed over when it struck a snow drift during takeoff roll on a snow covered runway at Abbott Ranch Private Airstrip near Somerset, Colorado. The certificated commercial pilot was uninjured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to Plane Living LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the flight destined for Montrose Regional Airport, Montrose, Colorado.

The pilot stated that he departed Montrose Regional Airport, Montrose, Colorado, about 1330, en route to Abbott Ranch Private Airstrip to check on his cabin. He said that when he landed, the runway was covered with about 6 inches of snow.

The pilot stated that at the time of departure he was attempting a maximum performance takeoff on runway 03 (1,600 feet by 75 feet, snow covered turf). The direction of takeoff was uphill. He felt the tailwheel digging into the snow on the runway shortly after the takeoff roll began. About 300 feet down the runway, the tail lifted and the main landing gear wheels struck a one foot high snow drift. The airplane then nosed over.

The pilot stated in his postaccident recommendation that the accident might have been prevented by packing down the snow on the runway using a snowcat or other equipment.

The airplane was equipped with Alaska Bush 29 inch tires.

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