On August 16, 1998, at 1730 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 185, N8482D, ground looped during takeoff on runway 29 at the Susanville, California, airport. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot and passenger, the sole occupants, were not injured. The local area personal flight was originating at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that about 300 feet down the runway and approximately 30 mph, he felt a strong wind gust from the left side and was unable to maintain the aircraft heading with full right rudder and right brake. The aircraft ground looped and came to rest on the runway 120 degrees from its initial heading. The right main landing gear collapsed, and there was damage to the right wing, right stabilizer, and elevator.
The winds were reported as 240 degrees at 12 knots with gusts to 21 knots. A witness on the airport said that the winds were "unpredictably gusty" at the time of the accident. The pilot reported that he had not experienced any mechanical malfunction with the aircraft prior to takeoff, but stated that he "could have made a more accurate estimate of [the] severity of gusts and not attempted the takeoff."