On December 8, 1993, about 1620 hours Pacific standard time, a Bellanca 7ECA, N57404, crashed during landing at Santa Paula airport, Santa Paula, California. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane, operated by CP Aviation, Santa Paula, received substantial damage. The certificated private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from Santa Paula about 1530 hours.

The pilot reported he was landing a high wing, tail wheel airplane on runway 22. The pilot had received instruction in tail wheel airplanes and the landing was the first conducted without an instructor in the airplane. Following touchdown, the pilot indicated, poor rudder control led to the airplane veering off the left side of the runway. The left wing of the airplane struck the airport's tetrahedron, damaging the spar.

The pilot holds a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The most recent third-class medical certificate was issued to the pilot on April 27, 1993, and contained no limitations.

According to the pilot/operator report submitted by the pilot, his total aeronautical experience consists of about 120 hours, of which 7 hours were accrued in the accident airplane. The pilot had accrued 1 hour of pilot-in-command flight time in the accident airplane.

The closest official weather observation station is Camarillo, California, which is located 8 nautical miles south of the accident site. At 1550 hours, a surface observation was reporting in part:

Sky condition and ceiling, clear; visibility, 40 miles; temperature, 62 degrees F; dew point, 49 degrees F; wind, 250 degrees at 10 knots; altimeter, 30.07 inHg.

Santa Paula Airport is equipped with one hard surfaced runway on a 040-to 220-degree magnetic orientation. Runway 22 is 2,650 feet long by 40 feet wide.

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