The pilot reported that, during the first landing of a currency flight, he “never realized he was low on the approach.” The Cessna A185 hit a snow-covered area short of the asphalt runway in Fairbanks, Alaska, and nosed over.
He added that the flight was conducted in “reduced light conditions” and that he “did not recognize the conditions as being flat light.”
The vertical stabilizer sustained substantial damage.
The National Weather Service reported that the sun set about 25 minutes after the accident.
The FAA Chart Supplement stated, in part, that the landing runway was equipped with a precision approach path indicator.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain an appropriate glidepath to the runway and to use the vertical guidance system.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA147
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.