NTSB Identification: NYC99LA191.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 01, 1999 in FREDERICK, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2001
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65, registration: N70894
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot obtained a standard weather briefing, and then filed a flight plan. He then received a weather update from flight service approximately 5 minutes before executing the flight. During the update, the briefer indicated that scattered thunderstorms in the Hagerstown area were moving east towards Frederick. The pilot calculated that he would arrive at his destination prior to the thunderstorms, so he departed. While approaching his destination, the pilot noticed the sky to the north of his position was 'very dark.' He also experienced an increase in turbulence. The pilot checked weather with Frederick UNICOM, and was advised the winds were 4 knots. With the approaching thunderstorms, the pilot expedited his turn from base to final, and executed a 'normal' landing. As the airplane rolled out it became airborne and started to drift to the right. The airplane touched down, exited the runway, and the landing gear collapsed when it struck a sign. The pilot shut off both magnetos, secured the throttle, and exited the airplane. The pilot stated, 'I think I encountered a gust and simply lost control.'

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control. Contributing factors were gusty wind conditions and the sign.

Full narrative available

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