The pilot departed on a short cross-country flight and arrived at his destination airport near Coldwater, Mich. He overflew the airport and observed blowing snow on both runways. Because the wind was from 220°, he elected to land on runway 22.
During the roll-out, the Cessna 340 hit the plowed snow at the intersection of runway 07/25. The nose gear collapsed, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage.
The pilot added that the snow banks should have been removed from the intersection and a NOTAM should have been published.
A review of the Airport/Facilities Directory’s (A/FD) note section for the airport had the notice: “Runway 07/25 plowed during winter months, contact the airport manager for conditions.”
Right before the accident, the automated weather reporting station reported visibility at 3 miles in light snow, with the wind from 260° at 11 knots.
The weather station normally broadcasts the A/FD message about runway 07/25 being plowed during winter months, however, an electrical power interruption erased the message prior to the accident.
With reduced visibility and blowing snow on the runways, it’s likely that a pilot would not be able to see the plowed snow banks.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as airport personnel not removing the snow banks from the intersecting runway or closing the intersection runway, which resulted in the airplane hitting the snow banks. Contributing to the accident was the reduced visibility inhibiting the pilot’s ability to see the plowed snow hazard.
NTSB Identification: CEN14CA114
This January 2014 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.