70-490 Damaged in Open Snow Landing

 Photo by Bill Nichols, 61st TCS Pilot,

Not all ski landings are happy ones. This plane had the nose gear and nose ski torn off during a landing on the ice cap. Although the cap looks perfectly smooth, hard "sastrugi" ridges criss-cross the surface. This accident occurred when the nose ski struck a large hard sastrugi ridge. After this event, the contractors at the DYE sites were obliged to bulldoze and drag landing areas to insure smoother, sastrugi free, areas for landing. The aircraft was eventually repaired and flown back to the Lockheed factory in Georgia for complete repairs. (Bill Nichols)

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