Cherokee hits snowbank trying to land

This February 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Posted as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee.
Location: Millbrook, N.Y.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot entered the traffic pattern for landing. He thought the airplane was too high on final approach so he slipped to increase the descent rate.

When he was on short final he though he was too low and attempted to recover by adding power, but was not quick enough to keep the airplane from hitting a snowbank on the approach end of the runway. The pilot executed a go-around and diverted to a nearby airport staffed with crash, fire, and rescue personnel. The landing was uneventful.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain a proper glidepath to the runway.

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  1. Robert Davidson says

    Snow bank, at the end of the runway or the touch down area. Aren’t there other areas to pile snow on an airport? I think this is a case of comparable, negligence 60% on the airport for piling snow in the landing flight path in question, 40% error in judgment on the pilot

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