LAX97LA281
LAX97LA281

On August 10, 1997, at 1440 hours Pacific daylight time, an Aerospatiale TB-20, N577JL, veered off runway 25 and collapsed the nose landing gear during the takeoff ground roll at the Borrego Valley, California, airport. The aircraft sustained substantial damage, and the private pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the personal flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was scheduled to terminate at the Van Nuys, California, airport.

The pilot reported that on the takeoff roll, a forceful gust of wind from the northwest hit the aircraft and produced a momentary lifting of the aircraft from the runway and yawed it to the left. The pilot stated that he cut the power and the aircraft settled onto a soft shoulder where the nose wheel dug in and broke off. The propeller struck sand and the engine stopped. The pilot reported winds were variable from 230 to 250 degrees at 10 to 15 knots.

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