MIA98LA080
MIA98LA080

On February 19, 1998, about 1609 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172H, N1430F, registered to a private individual, operating as a 14 CFR 91 personal flight, nosed over while taxiing after landing at St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane received substantial damage, and the pilot was not injured. The flight originated from the airport about 29 minutes before the accident.

The pilot stated that the winds according to ATIS were 330 degrees at 7 knots before start-up and taxi at about 1540. The tower cleared N1430F for, and the pilot executed a runway 35L departure in anticipation of a series of touch-and-go landings. At 1549, the tower observed winds were 090 degrees at 9 knots, so the tower cleared N1430F for landings on runway 4. When the pilot requested a full stop landing, the winds were 280 degrees at 15, gusting to 20 knots, so N1430F was cleared to land runway 27, which was executed. The pilot stated that he had no airplane control difficulties in the landing pattern, but as he was clearing runway 27 onto a crossing runway, before joining the taxiway to his FBO, "All of a sudden the winds shifted from a headwind to a very strong tailwind. I could not keep the tail down--the plane stood right up on the nose cone...." Tower personnel stated the airplane was lifted tail first, nosed over, and came to rest inverted on runway 35R. Concerning the wind conditions, they further stated that a fast moving rain storm with gusting winds appeared over the field and was gone within a 2-minute time span.

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater AFSS made a special weather observation at 1621, and winds were 010 degrees at 9 knots.

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