SEA97LA060
SEA97LA060

On February 21, 1997, about 1505 mountain standard time, N5552E, a Cessna 172N, operated by Utah Valley Aviation, Provo, Utah, nosed over during landing rollout and was substantially damaged in Delta, Utah. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight departed from Provo, Utah, and was conducted under 14 CFR 91.

In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that he was practicing an instrument approach into the Delta Municipal Airport. At the completion of the approach, he performed a circle-to-land approach to runway 16. He stated that the airplane encountered a "quartering tailwind" during the landing. The airplane then veered off the east side of the runway and into a mound of dirt. The nose gear was sheered off and the airplane flipped over, damaging both wing struts. The pilot stated that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

In a written statement later provided to the Safety Board (attached), the pilot further stated that he overflew the airport prior to landing and observed that the wind sock was limp, indicating calm winds. He also listened to the most recent weather information that was being broadcast over the airport's Automated Weather Observation Station (AWOS). The AWOS was also reporting calm winds. The pilot elected to land on runway 16 after a "standard" traffic pattern entry. The pilot further stated :

As I touched down, and soon after I received a strong quartering tailwind which started to drift the airplane to the left of the runway. I tried to correct with right aileron and add power to take off again, but as fast as I was being pushed to the side, I decided to cut power and try to stop the airplane. I was already on the ground, and I believe I had already taken the flaps up, for the touch and go procedure. I attempted to brake to stop the airplane on the runway, but the wind continued and pushed the airplane off the runway into the dirt. The plane started to slow, but hit a small mound of dirt, which caused the plane to nose over, and we were left upside down.

In the "Recommendation" section of the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 (attached) sent to the Safety Board by the pilot, the pilot wrote: "Perhaps more training on recovery in unexpected tail wind and or gusty winds."

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