FTW97LA061
FTW97LA061

On December 10, 1996, at 1326 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-24-400, N8450P, owned and operated by Altob, Inc., was substantially damaged when it collided with taxiway signs and runway lights during landing at Broomfield, Colorado. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the business flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Lamar, Colorado, on December 10, 1996, at 1201.

According to the pilot's accident report, ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) Information X-ray reported the wind to be from 260 degrees at 20 knots, with gusts to 30 knots. The pilot said that due to moderate turbulence he was experiencing, he decided to land "a little long and 10 knots fast with no flaps." As he flared for landing, the airplane "suddenly gusted up, then down, with left wing high and strongly to the right." He corrected with full left rudder and full power, but the airplane did not respond. The right landing gear struck a VARSI (sic) tower, then collided with a second VARSI structure. The pilot said he regained control and was able to align the airplane with the runway centerline at an altitude of 10 to 15 feet. He "rejected (the) impulse to 'go around'" and landed, holding the nose up with full up elevator "to minimize engine damage if (nose) gear (was) gone." As the nose was lowered, the airplane departed the right side of the runway. Jeffco Airport officials reported three runway signs and four runway lights were damaged.

The pilot also enclosed a hand-written transcript of his radio communications with the control tower, and a diagram of wind directions and velocities recorded at various times during the approach and landing. At 1325:57, the wind was from 270 degrees at 35 knots. Forty-five seconds later, at 1326:42, the wind was from 230 degrees at 25 knots. The pilot said this difference of 40 degrees and 10 knots was "evidence of wind shear almost exactly as landing flair commenced," and that it felt like "a sudden quartering tail wind from the left, leaving no rudder authority."

In his accident report, the pilot indicated his last biennial flight review was in 1989. No exact date was given.

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