On November 24, 1997, at 1230 central standard time, a Cessna 172M airplane, N80831, was substantially damaged following a loss of control while landing near Mesquite, Texas. The instrument rated commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was owned by a private individual and was being operated by Arlington Aerodynamics Inc., of Arlington, Texas, under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight which originated at the Arlington Municipal Airport, near Arlington, Texas, at approximately 1145.

The pilot reported to the investigator-in-charge that during the landing flare on runway 17, he encountered a wind gust from the right which offset the airplane to the left of the runway's centerline. The pilot stated that he applied full power to abort the landing; however, the airplane continued to drift to the left and was headed towards the airport's windsock. While attempting to maneuver to avoid the windsock, the pilot lost control of the airplane and the airplane nosed over coming to rest in the inverted position.

The pilot further stated that he had been flying the airplane from the right seat position since September 13, 1997, in preparation for his upcoming check ride to become a flight instructor. His first touch and go landing, as well a the landing attempted at the time of the accident, were intended to practice his proficiency in the soft field landing technique. In the enclosed narrative portion of the Pilot/Operator Report, the pilot stated that "he believed that full power was not achieved despite forward throttle position." He added that "he did not have sufficient time to close the carburetor heat" during his attempt to abort the landing. The pilot reported that the winds at the time of the accident were from 140 degrees at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots.

Examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed that the left wing sustained structural damage. Further examination of the cockpit revealed that the carburetor heat was found in the "full hot position" and the flap selector was in the "up" position. The wing flaps were found in the retracted position.

The flight crew of a Beech King Air that landed on the same runway while the Cessna was on the downwind leg reported that they "did not see or feel anything unusual during their approach, landing or roll out."

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