Saturday, March 02, 2019

Nose Over: Cessna A185F, N93018, accident occurred December 22, 2018 at Big Lake Airport (PAGQ), Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Big Lake, AK
Accident Number: ANC19CA009
Date & Time: 12/22/2018, 1830 AKS
Registration: N93018
Aircraft: Cessna A185
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Nose over/nose down
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


According to the pilot, upon returning from a short sightseeing flight in his tailwheel-equipped airplane, the landing and taxi lights would not illuminate. Due to the dark night conditions and the inoperable landing and taxi lights, the pilot chose to land on a roadway rather than the short ice-covered, private airstrip that he had used for departure. Unbeknownst to the pilot, a snow berm had been placed in the roadway. During the landing roll, the airplane struck the snow berm and nosed over

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, horizontal stabilizer, and rudder.

The pilot reported that a postaccident examination revealed that the factory connection for the landing and taxi lights had failed at the 4-pin connector.

The pilot reported no other mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot stated that the accident might have been prevented if the flight had been limited to daylight operations.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper decision to land on a roadway during dark night conditions with inoperable landing and taxi lights, which resulted in an impact with a snow berm.


Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Snow/ice - Decision related to condition (Cause)
Snow/slush/ice covered surface - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Landing-landing roll
Nose over/nose down (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 66, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/25/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time: 1190 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N93018
Model/Series: A185 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18503161
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/20/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3940.4 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: IYS
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1856 AST
Direction from Accident Site:  
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.63 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Big Lake, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Big Lake, AK
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  AKS
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  61.537500, -149.850278 (est)

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