This January 2009 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: Beech Baron. Injuries: None. Location: Brainerd, Minn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot encountered unforecasted freezing rain and decided to divert to the nearest airport. He made two low passes over the runway while trying to clear ice off of the windshield, however the alcohol de-ice could not keep up with the ice accumulation. The pilot stated that he had to look out of the side window during the landing and, once he descended below the tree line, he was unable to accurately judge his altitude over the runway. The airplane landed hard, damaging the right wing.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper flare, which resulted in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the unforecasted freezing rain that obscured the windscreen and hindered the pilot’s ability to judge the altitude of the airplane above the runway.
For more information: NTSB.gov