Near The Beginning Of Runway 13, The Airplane Was Struck From Behind By The Snowplow

Location: Spearfish, SD Accident Number: CEN21LA022
Date & Time: October 18, 2020, 12:00 Local Registration: N97875
Aircraft: Cessna 182Q Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:

On October 18, 2020, about 1200 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182Q, NN97875, was involved in an accident near Spearfish, South Dakota. The commercial pilot and a passenger were uninjured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that while preparing to depart The Black Hills Airport-Clyde Ice Field (SPF), Spearfish, South Dakota, he witnessed a snowplow make a couple passes on the runway. My passenger made comment to me about how fast the truck was moving while it was plowing. He said they joked about the truck saying if it had wings that it would probably take off! The pilot saw the snowplow turn off the runway and then the pilot made a radio call on the airport common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) announcing that he was departing the ramp and taxing to runway 13. He stated that all the airplane lights were on as the airplane moved from the ramp area. Approximately 200 feet from the end of the taxiway, near the beginning of runway 13, the airplane was struck from behind by the snowplow. The pilot said he was not aware of what hit the airplane, until he exited the airplane.

The airplane substantial damage to the rudder and vertical stabilizer.

The snowplow driver stated that he started work about 0900 or 1000 on the day of the accident. He said after the accident, he asked the pilot if he made any position reports on CTAF, and the pilot said that he did not because he was communicating with Ellsworth Approach Control. The snowplow driver said airport personnel do not monitor Ellsworth Approach Control but monitor and communicate on CTAF. The snowplow driver said he always makes radio calls on CTAF when plowing on the runway and when exiting the runway. He does not make radio calls while on taxiways. He said it was difficult to see the airplane due to a lack of contrast with the surrounding snow-covered terrain.

SPF was not a Part 139 certificated airport.