DEN99LA036
DEN99LA036

On February 2, 1999, at 1711 mountain standard time, a Cessna 208B, N980FE, was substantially damaged when the airplane nosed down during taxi for takeoff at Yellowstone Regional Airport, Cody, Wyoming. The airline transport rated pilot, the sole occupant in the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was being operated by Corporate Air of Billings, Montana, dba Federal Express Corporation under Title 14 CFR Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country cargo flight which was taxiing for departure at the time of the accident. A company VFR flight plan had been filed with the destination of Riverton, Wyoming.

FAA records indicated that the pilot got a weather briefing at 1521, and the winds were 250 degrees at 21 knots, gusting to 38 knots. The pilot reported that taxied out for a departure on runway 22 at approximately 1708. The pilot said that as he was taxiing out, he was monitoring the airport's Automatic Weather Observation Station (AWOS), and it was reporting the maximum wind velocity of 34 to 36 knots. The pilot reported that as he turned the airplane from northwest to northeast, the wind lifted the airplane's left wing. The airplane nosed down with its left main landing gear off the ground and the engine's propeller in the ground. The right wing spar was bent.

The AWOS wind report at 1714 (approximately 3 minutes after the accident), was 250 degrees, at 27 knots gusting to 43 knots. The manufacturer's Information Manual for this airplane states that the maximum demonstrated crosswind velocity is 20 knots (not a limitation).

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