This December 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: Stinson 108-1. Injuries: None. Location: Selawik, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot was on a cross-country flight in a ski-equipped airplane when he encountered whiteout conditions. He turned around to return to the departure airport. As the visibility continued to diminish, he elected to land on a frozen, snow-covered lake. The airplane landed hard on the uneven terrain, and the left main landing gear collapsed and the left wing hit the snow.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain a proper descent rate during landing, resulting in a hard landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov; NTSB Identification: ANC10CA010.