FTW96LA218
FTW96LA218

On May 18, 1996, at 1630 central daylight time, a Maule MX-7-160, N35TX, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during a landing approach near Belcher, Louisiana. The airline transport rated pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private owner under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from a private airfield near Garland, Arkansas, at 1550. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported to the investigator-in-charge and in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report that he was landing the airplane at a private airstrip on runway 09. He reported that he flew the airplane in a "right hand traffic pattern in order to watch the two windsocks south of the runway and to make sure the tractor that was mowing nearby would remain clear of the runway." The airplane was on final, with a right cross wind, when the following sequence of events occurred. The pilot stated, "the aircraft drifted to the north, but I corrected it back, when suddenly a strong gust blew the plane north of the runway. The right wing dropped quickly while we continued to drift left as I added power to execute another go around. The plane continued to drop right wing low, despite my efforts to avoid hitting the ground. The engine accelerated normally, but we struck the ground off to the left of the runway, right wing low." The airplane came to rest on a heading of approximately 260 degrees on the north side of the runway.

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