On Monday, April 18, 1994, at 1400 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-300, N4445X, landed short of runway 21 at the Bedford Airport located in Bedford, Pennsylvania, and was substantially damaged. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The business cross country flight originated from the Garrett County Airport, Garrett County, Maryland, and was destined for the Bedford Airport. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he entered the downwind leg of the airport's left traffic pattern. He stated that when he turned the airplane onto the base leg, the airplane was "...too close and too high." He said he completed a 270 degrees right turn "...which put us on about a 3/4 mile final at approximately 700 feet AGL." The pilot stated, "From this point the approach to land was completed as usual until approximately 30 - 40 feet AGL, when a higher than normal rate of descent occurred. Go around procedures were initiated just prior to the left main touching down. When this happened [the left main gear touching down], the mixture, throttle, and master switch were cut, and the landing finished."
According to a Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector, the pilot reported after the accident that during approach to the runway, the airplane encountered a downdraft. The pilot said that the airplane touched down short of the runway and then bounced up onto the runway and landed hard, pushing the left main gear aft and through the fuselage. The pilot stated that the airplane skidded to the left and the left wing impacted a runway light knocking a hole in the fuel tank.
During an interview, the pilot stated that "...the flaps were down 2 notches..." during the approach. He stated that he retracted the flaps after the airplane came to rest so he and his passenger could exit the airplane.
The accident site and airplane were examined on April 18, 1994. Examination of the accident site revealed ground marks about five feet short of the approach end of the runway. The airplane came to rest off the left side of the runway, in grass about 1,000 feet left of the ground marks. The left main gear was found two hundred feet northeast of the approach end of the runway. The airplane's left wing, landing gear, fuselage, vertical stabilizer, and horizontal stabilizer were damaged.
At the time of the accident, the Altoona, Pennsylvania, National Weather Service Station reported the winds were coming from a magnetic bearing of 250 degrees at a velocity of 10 knots. An airman's meteorological information (airmet) report was issued for Eastern Pennsylvania. The airmet reported moderate to severe turbulence below 9,000 feet mean sea level.