January 3, 2009, Brainerd, Minn., Beech Model 58 Baron


The pilot reported encountering freezing rain. The pilot requested and received a descent to a lower altitude to stay below the clouds. The airplanes airspeed continued to decrease and the pilot informed ATC that he wanted to divert to a nearby airport. The pilot made two low passes over the airport while trying to clear ice off the windshield; however, the windshields alcohol de-ice system could not keep up with the ice accumulation.

The pilot had to look out of the side window during the landing and was unable to accurately judge his height in blowing snow against the light-colored concrete runway. A hard landing resulted; the right wing strut was bent and the wing was pushed into the fuselage.


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