On September 19, 1998, about 1750 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Rebel, N61538, was substantially damaged when it departed runway 31 on landing roll-out at the Harrison County Airport (8G6), Cadiz, Ohio. The certificated private pilot/owner and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed, but not activated. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The flight originated in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, flew to Marion, OH, and then to 8G6.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector's report, the pilot reported that he had recently purchased the airplane, and received 15 hours of flight training from the original builder. Included in his training were takeoffs and landings from land and water. The airplane, originally built with a tail wheel, had Russell Amphibious Floats installed, with dual main wheels and two caster wheels at the front of the floats. The original engine was replaced with a Lycoming O-320-A2C.

According to the pilot, he entered the airport traffic pattern at 8G6 for landing on runway 31. In a written statement, he said:

"I turned downwind 31, left base, final and added power while maintaining a nose high (soft field/amphib/float) attitude. Just before touchdown, a gust lifted the left wing causing the right mains to touch down. I pushed the left wing down hard and we left the runway at a shallow angle on to the narrow grass strip bordering the runway. Seeing the three foot ditch paralleling the runway, I applied full power but the distance to the ditch was too short to allow much increase in speed. We nosed into the far side of the ditch and the tail came straight over turning the plane on it's back."

The passenger's statement was consistent with the pilot's sequence of events.

In a telephone interview with the FAA, a witness reported he observed the airplane during its approach to runway 31. According to the FAA Inspector's record of telephone conversation, the witness reported:

"[The] aircraft appeared a little high. He [pilot] appeared to hold off and extend landing down the runway. The wind was blowing off and on all day and was gusting at about 7 or 8 knots from the southwest. Just before touchdown at approximately mid field, a gust of wind appeared to lift the left wing up, pushing the aircraft right of center and causing the pilot to enter the ditch along the right side of the runway. I heard him [the pilot] apply power and figured he was trying to get airborne. The aircraft hit the side of the bank and popped up in the air on its nose, then flipped over on its back."

The pilot reported there were no mechanical deficiencies with the aircraft. He also reported 313 hours of total flight experience of which 20.3 hours were in make and model.

The winds recorded at 1753, from Wheeling Ohio County Airport, located approximately 20 miles to the east were: 220 degrees magnetic at 4 knots. Clear skies prevailed and visibility was reported as 4 statue miles and haze. A witness at 8G6 reported that the wind was blowing off and on all day and was gusting at about 7 or 8 knots from the southwest.

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