This March 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Cessna Cardinal.
Location: Gridwood, Alaska.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot was conducting a cross-country flight to an unmonitored airport. He checked the few sources available to determine the condition of the destination airport’s runway. There was snow on it. Upon arrival he made a low pass over runway. Because of the size of the snow berms on either side of the runway, the pilot thought that the landing area had been plowed and there was only a little snow on the runway itself.
However, upon touch down he learned that the snow was significantly deeper than he thought it was. The airplane sank and came to an abrupt stop. The impact damaged the right wing and propeller.
Probable cause: The pilot’s selection of a snow-covered runway for landing, which resulted in a quick stop and damage to the airplane. The deep snow was a factor.
For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20070426X00459&key=1.