IAD97LA042
IAD97LA042

On January 16, 1997, at 2225 eastern standard time, a Cessna 310F, N1761G, was substantially damaged when it collided with the Visual Approach Slope Indicator System (VASI) on landing rollout at the Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Bridgeport, Connecticut. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to Duncan Air Service and operated by Flint Aviation Services, Inc., located at the Bishop International Airport, Flint, Michigan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the positioning flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot received a weather briefing from Lansing Flight Service Station and departed Bishop International Airport, about 2000. In the local Bridgeport area, the pilot accepted a visual approach and requested information for the active runway at Sikorsky Memorial Airport. The Air Traffic Controller responded, "they (tower) are closed, I don't know what the active is. The last reported wind at 0154 Zulu, two eight zero at one two gusts at one seven." The pilot acknowledged the controller and switched to the airport's unicom frequency.

The pilot reported that he miss heard the controller and thought the "wind was 010 degrees at 29 knots." The pilot landed on runway 06 (4,677 feet long/150 feet wide) and stated, "shortly after touch down, a strong quarterly tailwind pushed the aircraft off (the right side) of the runway." Before stopping, the airplane struck the VASI at the approach end of runway 24. Afterwards, the pilot taxied the airplane to the tie down area. A review of the Sikorsky Memorial Airport Aviation Routine Weather Report indicated the wind was 290 degrees at 21 knots with gusts to 28 knots.

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