FTW96LA311
FTW96LA311

On July 19, 1996, at 1705 mountain daylight time, a tailwheel equipped Cessna 150H, N150PC, sustained substantial damage while landing near Los Lunas, New Mexico. The airplane, owned and operated by a private owner, was being operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The commercial pilot was not injured and his passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight and a flight plan was not filed.

The pilot reported to the FAA inspector that he ground looped the airplane when he attempted to abort the landing after touching down on runway 18 at the Mid Valley Airpark, near Los Lunas, New Mexico.

In a telephonic interview with the investigator-in-charge, the pilot stated that the winds appeared to be calm and he elected to execute a "wheel landing with 40 degrees of flaps." The pilot further stated that the touchdown and initial roll out were uneventful but he was unable to control the airplane after the left wing came up. The pilot added that dust devils are very common in the area during the summer.

In the enclosed Pilot/Operator Report, the pilot added that turbulence from a set of railroad tracks running parallel to the runway could have also been a factor in the loss of control. In the enclosed passenger statement, the passenger also confirmed the presence of light turbulence during the approach.

Examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed structural damage to the right wing spar as well as the right main landing gear attaching point.

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