On February 15, 1999, at 1045 hours mountain standard time, a Maule M-4-220C, N2077U, ground looped, veered off the runway, and came to rest in a ditch while landing on runway 30 at the Ernest A. Love Field in Prescott, Arizona. The pilot was returning to the airport to practice landings after a local flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The aircraft, owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Ernest A. Love Field at 0933 on the day of the accident.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector from the Scottsdale Flight Standards District Office examined the aircraft and interviewed the pilot. In a statement to the inspector, the private pilot stated he was conducting a local flight to practice landings and take a friend for a ride. Upon returning to the airport, the pilot made a three-wheel landing and encountered a gust of wind. He initially recovered, and then encountered a second gust of wind. The aircraft ground looped off the runway and rolled into a ditch before coming to a stop.

The private pilot had received a tailwheel endorsement on January 9, 1999, and a high-performance endorsement earlier in the morning just prior to the accident. He had approximately 10 hours logged in this make and model aircraft.

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