Narrative:The C-54 airplane was hauling fuel oil to be distributed at Kivalina, AK. Prior to departure from Galena (GAL) the pilot read a NOTAM for Kivalina that the runway had thin, packed snow on it. The pilot reported he flew over the 3,000 ft long by 60 ft wide strip prior to landing, and noted in the center of the runway some gravel was visible through a layer of surrounding snow. He could not see any snow banks or deeper snow in the landing area, and available notices to airmen did not mention any snow banks or snow berms on the runway. The airplane landed near the threshold and on the center line, but, the left main landing gear soon encountered a snow berm and the airplane was pulled to the left. The airplane subsequently impacted other snow berms on the left side of the runway and the nose landing gear collapsed.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to identify a hazardous landing area. Factors in the accident are the presence of snow banks/berms on the runway, and the inadequate snow removal by airport personnel."
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Galena Airport, AK to Kivalina Airport, AK as the crow flies is 473 km (296 miles).