The pilot of the tailwheel, ski-equipped Piper PA-22 reported that, while landing off airport in flat light conditions, he was unable to maintain a good visual reference of the hard-packed, snow-covered landing area in Ruby, Alaska.
After touchdown, the plane drifted off the hard-packed snow, and the left ski sunk in softer snow.
He increased power and attempted to recover with “hard right control” to no avail.
The airplane’s left ski struck a snow-covered tank.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left-wing lift strut.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control while landing in flat light conditions on a hard-packed snow-covered landing area.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA187
This February 2017 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.