On June 6, 1999, at 1617 mountain daylight time, a 1954 Piper PA-18-135, N897SP (civilian s.n. 18-3555, military s.n. 54-2355), was substantially damaged when it collided with vehicles during landing at Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The commercial certificated flight instructor and commercial certificated pilot receiving instruction were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the ferry flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Heber, Utah, approximately 1200.

The rear seat pilot had recently purchased the airplane from a repair facility in Yakima, Washington. It had been outfitted with a Lycoming O-320-B2C engine, rated at 160 horsepopwer, and he was delivering the airplane to his home base in Aspen, Colorado. Since he did not have a current medical certificate, the owner-pilot could not serve as pilot-in-command. As a result, the repair facility's chief pilot, seated in the front seat, accompanied him and was serving as pilot-in-command. During the flight, the pilot-in-command gave the owner-pilot tail wheel instruction and a biennial flight review.

From Yakima, Washington, the route of flight was to Twin Falls, Idaho; Brigham City, Heber, and Roosevelt, Utah; thence to Glenwood Springs and Aspen, Colorado. When the airplane touched down at Glenwood Springs, it veered off the right side of runway 14. Both pilots agreed that "a gust of wind" caused the loss of control. Before control could be regained, the airplane collided with several parked vehicles, causing spar and rib damage to the right wing.

Runway 32 was reported to be the active runway. Winds recorded at the nearest official weather reporting facility, located 26 miles northeast of the accident site, were from 240 degrees at 18 knots, with gusts to 22 knots. According to the New Piper Aircraft, Inc., this airplane vintage did not have a maximum demonstrated crosswind component chart because it was not required for FAA certification.

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