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N845D accident description

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Crash location 47.824445°N, 91.830556°W
Nearest city Ely, MN
47.903237°N, 91.867087°W
5.7 miles away
Tail number N845D
Accident date 17 Dec 2008
Aircraft type Piper PA28
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The pilot had flown his airplane into the departure airport earlier in the day. The airplane was placed into a hangar where the pilot later returned to preflight the airplane. The 1453 winds at the airport were from 260 degrees at 5 knots. Following the preflight, he started the airplane in the hangar and taxied to runway 30 (5,600 feet by 100 feet), which was covered with 1 inch of snow. The rudder pedals steered the airplane normally during the taxi to the runway. About 5 minutes after takeoff the cabin door opened about 1/4 inch. The pilot returned and landed on runway 30, which was still snow covered. The pilot stated that during the landing rollout, he noticed the airplane pulling "slightly" to the left, which he attributed to a stuck left main landing gear wheel. He applied right rudder to keep the airplane on the runway centerline, but as the airplane slowed, it pulled more to the left. The pilot stated that he did not reduce or shut down engine power but instead used 1,200 rpm in an attempt to increase rudder effectiveness. He also did not use right brake to maintain directional control. The airplane impacted a snow bank damaging the right wing tip and outboard section of the wing. The outboard section of the right wing exhibited a deformation of the upper wing skin, which was orientated about 45 degrees relative to the wing span axis. The airplane was equipped with landing gear wheel fairings. The pilot reported that the left wheel plowed through the snow on the runway and did not rotate during the landing. The pilot and passenger were uninjured.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing. Contributing to the accident were the reduced left main landing gear wheel rotation for undetermined reasons and the snow-covered runway.

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