NTSB Identification: WPR11CA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 22, 2010 in Fort Thomas, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 185, registration: N5011X
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that after flying for about 10 minutes he made a normal traffic pattern approach and touched down on the runway. The initial rollout was without incident; however, seconds after lowering the tailwheel onto the runway surface, the airplane encountered a sudden gust of wind from the right, which was akin to a dust devil, or strong whirlwind. At this point in time, the pilot had minimal rudder authority. Despite his efforts to maintain directional control, the airplane's left wingtip contacted the runway and the airplane rolled off the runway and into a berm. During the accident sequence the outboard portion of the left wing was bent and the right wing strut was bent. The pilot indicated that he had no warning of the presence of the dust devil swirl of air. No weather reporting services are available at the airport from which the pilot took off and landed. The pilot reported that the windsock had indicated that the wind speed was between 5 and 7 knots. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The airplane's encounter with a dust devil during landing rollout, which resulted in the pilot not being able to maintain directional control.

Full narrative available

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