LAX94LA176
LAX94LA176

On April 3, 1994, at 1041 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N6290D, was destroyed when it struck some trees during an approach at Gasquet, California. The aircraft was owned and operated by Buchanan Flying Club, Inc., of Concord, California, and was rented by the pilot for a personal cross-country flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Visual meteorological conditions were prevalent at the time and no flight plan had been filed for the operation. The certificated private pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries, while the third passenger incurred serious injuries. The flight originated on the day of the mishap at 1000 from Crescent City, California.

In a written statement to Del Norte Sheriff's Deputies, the pilot reported she circled the field to determine the prevailing winds and to select a landing runway. After observing the windsocks, she estimated the wind to be from 060 degrees at 8 knots, which she believed favored runway 06. She then established the aircraft on final approach, planning to land long.

While on final, she extended full flaps and stabilized the airspeed at 60 knots. As the aircraft descended to about 40 feet AGL just past the approach end, a gusting right crosswind caused the aircraft to drift off the final approach path. The pilot said she attempted to correct her direction of flight and applied full power. She said that, due to her reduced airspeed and full flap configuration, she was unable to establish a positive rate of climb in time to avoid some 30 to 40 foot trees about 30 yards off the left side of the runway. As a result, the left wing of the aircraft struck a tree, causing the aircraft to yaw and fall through the trees to the ground.

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