March 9, Richmond, Va. / Piper PA-32R-300 Lance


At about 18:30 EST, a Piper Lance was substantially damaged while landing at the Richmond International Airport, but the pilot was not injured. The flight was a Part 135 cargo flight from Newport News, Va., to Richmond. The pilot was en route to Richmond when he became unable to maintain VFR and filed an IFR flight plan. He was cleared to climb to 2,000 feet, then 4,000 feet. While climbing from 2,000 feet to 4,000 feet the airplane began picking up ice, so the pilot asked for clearance back to 2,000 feet. The pilot was cleared down to 2,000 feet and direct to the airport. While landing, the pilot had difficulty judging the distance to the runway, due to the remaining ice on the windshield. He thought he was still about 500 feet above the ground when the airplane touched down hard, pushing the landing gear through the wing.


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