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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA134
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 29, 2017 in Tyonek, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/04/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N5222E
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the tundra tire- and tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, while on the flight back to his home airport, he decided to land on a snow-covered airstrip. He flew over the landing area three times before deciding on the fourth pass to attempt a full-stop landing. During the touchdown of the three-point landing, he realized the snow was deeper than he had expected, and the airplane decelerated rapidly. The pilot increased power, but the airplane continued to sink in the snow. Subsequently, the airplane nosed over and slid to a stop inverted.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to its empennage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s improper decision to land on a snow-covered airstrip with a tundra tire-equipped airplane, which resulted in a nose-over.