Complacent pilot misses the runway in winter

General Aviation News will often reprint accident reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the USA, including one dated April 2010 that involved a Cessna 210 in Truckee (CA) that resulted in substantial aircraft damage but luckily no injuries.

According to the accident report, the pilot had obtained an airport condition report while on the approach to the airport. Apparently, airport personnel had indicated there was ice along with a layer of snow covering the surface of the runway. On approach, the pilot aligned with the airport runway and then flared over what he believed to be the normal touchdown point.

However, the aircraft hit a snow berm at the edge of a cross runway which resulted in a collapsed nose gear along with a damaged firewall. Moreover, the pilot figured out that he was 50 feet north of and parallel to the actual runway.

Hence, the probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s failure to correctly identify the location of the snow covered runway. He had also noted that complacency along with deviation from standard aeronautical decision making practices had caused him to miss the runway.

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