On October 25, 1997, about 1144 eastern standard time, a Silvaire Luscombe 8B, N5PL, was substantially damaged as it went off the runway during landing roll at the Mercer County Airport (BLF), Bluefield, West Virginia. The certificated private pilot/owner was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed and a instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal cross country flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from the John C. Tune Airport, Nashville, Tennessee, about 0900 central standard time.

The pilot reported that he made a right base leg for runway 23 at BLF, with the winds from the south/southeast. He recalled that the approach was normal, but "added power to recover from a down draft about 1/4 mile from the threshold." The pilot stated that "during the 3 point touch down at normal speed, the airplane immediately veered to the right, with the left wing and the left landing gear lifting up. He applied left aileron and rudder returning the landing gear to the pavement, but the airplane continued to drift to the right."

The pilot reported that the airplane drifted onto the grass along side the runway, when the right landing gear dropped into a drainage ditch. The landing gear collapsed, and the airplane rotated over its nose. The pilot stated that the propeller, the right wing tip, and the left wing tip contacted the ground. He initially reported no structural damage to either wing or fuselage.

A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector examined the airplane on November 6, 1997. The examination revealed that both wing spars and the engine fire wall were damaged, and the incident was upgraded to an accident on November 6, 1997. Flight control continuity was verified and the pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions with the flight controls or engine.

The winds were reported to be calm at the time of the accident.

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