DEN99LA073
DEN99LA073

On May 6, 1999, approximately 1145 mountain daylight time, a Davis' Vans RV-6A, N8117Q, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain while landing at Truth or Consequences Municipal Airport, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant aboard, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the test flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated approximately 0900.

In his accident report, the pilot said he obtained a weather briefing from the Albuquerque Flight Service Station (FSS). Winds were reported to be 9 knots "and diminishing." This was the maiden flight of N8117Q. The pilot said after takeoff, he experienced "severe turbulence" that diminished as he flew south. After testing the airplane for 3 hours, he returned to the airport for landing.

The pilot said the wind was reported to be at 7 knots and favoring runway 13. He also said it was still quite turbulent and he was forced to abandon two landing approaches because of the turbulence. The airport Unicom then reported the winds to be variable and favoring runway 11. The pilot made a "smooth" landing on runway 11. The airplane rolled for about 40 or 50 feet, then nosed over when the nose landing gear sheared off. He said it felt like the brakes had been applied. Postaccident inspection of the runway revealed the landing gear had settled 6 to 7 inches into the soft sand. The tires on the RV-6A are only 3 inches wide and protrude about 3 inches below the wheel pants. "Not good for a soft sand runway," the pilot said.

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