LAX96LA227
LAX96LA227

On June 9, 1996, at 1150 hours mountain standard time, a Cessna 172N, N737WR, veered to the right off runway 21R while landing at Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott, Arizona. The aircraft came to rest in a ditch and was substantially damaged; however, the private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a VFR flight plan had been filed for the instructional flight which departed Blythe, California, at 1030.

In his report to the NTSB, the pilot said he had received the ATIS which reported surface winds of 12 knots and considered conditions safe for landing. Immediately after touchdown, however, a gust of wind picked up the right wing of the aircraft and only the left main landing gear remained on the runway. The aircraft weathervaned and, when he got the airplane under control, it was heading off the right side of the runway. The aircraft left the runway approximately 700 feet from the threshold and skidded across a taxiway (A4), impacting a taxiway sign with the left main landing gear. The landing gear collapsed causing the aircraft to then veer left and ground loop into a drainage ditch between taxiway alpha and runway 21R. The aircraft came to rest in the ditch between the runway and parallel taxiway, approximately 1,000 feet from the threshold, heading 075 degrees.

The operator reported that the surface winds were from 240 degrees at 12 knots with gusts to 20 knots, and that observers on the ground and in the air at the time estimated wind gusts of up to 30 knots.

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