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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 18, 2017 in Fairbanks, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/07/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA A185, registration: N185AE
Injuries: 1 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 reported that, during the first landing of a currency flight, he “never realized he was low on the approach” and that the airplane impacted a snow-covered area short of the asphalt runway and nosed over. He added that the flight was conducted in “reduced light conditions” and that he “did not recognize the conditions as being flat light.”
The vertical stabilizer sustained substantial damage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Weather Service reported that the sun set about 25 minutes after the accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration Chart Supplement stated, in part, that the landing runway was equipped with a precision approach path indicator.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to maintain an appropriate glidepath to the runway and to use the vertical guidance system.