The pilot was on a personal cross-country flight to a remote, off-airport site in Sleetmute, Alaska, in a tailwheel-equipped Cessna 180.
He said that before landing he intended to fly a low pass over the snow-covered site to determine the condition of the snowpack, a maneuver commonly known as dragging the landing site.
He said that as the main landing gear wheels touched down atop the frozen layer of crusty snow, the wheels broke through, and the plane nosed over, sustaining substantial damage to the left wing and vertical stabilizer.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to make contact with an unsuitable landing surface, resulting in a nose over.
NTSB Identification: ANC16CA014
This February 2016 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.