SEA98LA114
SEA98LA114

On June 29, 1998, approximately 1745 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182P, N1878M, impacted a fence after going off the side of the runway at Chico Hot Springs, Montana. The commercial pilot and his passenger were not injured, but the aircraft, which was owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal pleasure flight, which departed Billings, Montana, about 45 minutes earlier, was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed, and the ELT, which was activated by the accident, was turned off at the scene.

According to the pilot, he was landing in gusty crosswind conditions on a county road that doubles as an airstrip. He said that just as he was about to touch down, he went past a knoll that blocked most of the crosswind. When the crosswind suddenly changed velocity, the aircraft started drifting off to the side of the runway, and he was unable to correct back to the center of the runway prior to touchdown. The pilot said that just after the aircraft touched down, the left main gear slipped off the runway surface into tall weeds, and the aircraft then exited the left side of the runway. Once the aircraft departed the runway, the pilot tried to get it stopped as quickly as possible, but was unable to bring it to a stop prior to impacting a nearby fence.

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