On November 27, 1996, at 1830 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 182M, N70967, overran the departure end of runway 18 and collapsed the nose gear during landing at the Fallbrook Community Airpark, California. The aircraft was operated by Benbow Aviation of Torrance, California, and borrowed by the pilot for the flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft incurred substantial damage to the firewall. The certificated commercial pilot and the three passengers were not injured. The flight originated at Torrance on the day of the accident at 1745 as a personal flight to Fallbrook. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot indicated in his written report that after going around from his first landing attempt, because his airspeed was too high on short final, he then remained in the traffic pattern to make another landing attempt. He reported that on his subsequent landing attempt, "I saw I was high so [I] reduced all power. . . . I felt the plane was sinking to fast and the airspeed to slow, so I added a little power. Just before touchdown I reduced all power. After all wheels touchdown I applied the brakes and the tires started to skid. I let up off the brakes until skidding stop and simultaneously raised the flaps to put the plane firmly on the ground. By this time a go around entered my mind but I felt it was too late and to dangerous. So I continued to brake trying not to skid nor cause a possible prop strike. Then the runway end came up and we started down the hill. . . . it [the plane] fell into a trench and came to rest."
In a weather report issued for March AFB, California, airport, which is 31.6 nm from the accident site, at the time this accident occurred, the reported winds were from 310 degrees at 6 knots. Based upon this weather report, the aircraft had a computed 4-knot tailwind during the attempted landing on the 2,160-foot-long runway 18.
Airport personnel reported in a telephone interview that the windsock was "faded but not torn" on the night the accident occurred. Further, they stated that at night the windsock is lighted; however, the free moving tetrahedron is not lighted, even when the pilot controlled runway lighting is activated.
In a letter to the Fallbrook Air Park Association, written in response to this accident, a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) based at the airport wrote: "It has been on my mind to address the issue of lights on the wind tee and why they are not illuminated during darkness. . . . It is difficult to tell what our windsock is indicating at night even though it is lighted. I believe that it is in the best interest of safety to have the wind tee illuminated during darkness. The tee is there, it has a light system on it, it used to work. There should be some way to get it operational." The CFI indicated that his observations were based upon the fact that he had personally made 23 night landings at this airport in the last year. Further, he indicated that while he typically did not have a problem determining the prevailing wind conditions at night, he believed that "for the occasional transient pilot it is not so easy."