DEN99LA001
DEN99LA001

On October 1, 1998, approximately 1330 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 140A, N9403A, registered to and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain while landing at Alexander Municipal Airport, Belen, New Mexico. The private pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan had been filed for the personal flight being conducted under title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Deming, New Mexico, at 1130.

According to the pilot's accident report, he turned onto final approach to runway 21 (6,600 ft. x 60 ft, asphalt) and had to lower the left wing and apply right rudder to maintain runway alignment. He said the wind had generally been from the south between 15 and 18 knots. As the airplane touched down, a wind gust "in excess of 20 knots cocked the airplane to the left," causing the right main landing gear to buckle and separate.

An FAA inspector who went to the scene reported finding the right wing spar fractured. He said that shortly after the accident, a rain squall passed through the area.

The wind at Albuquerque International Airport, located about 26 miles north of Belen, was from 140 degrees at 15 knots, with gusts to 18 knots. There were distant cumulonimbus clouds and rain shafts from the southwest through the north quadrants.

According to a Cessna Airplane Company spokesperson, the airplane owner's manual contains no maximum crosswind component data.

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