LAX99LA247
LAX99LA247

On July 11, 1999, at 1437 hours Pacific daylight time, an experimental Velocity 173/FG-E, N137V, veered off the runway while landing at the Santa Monica, California, airport and collided with parked airplanes and a hangar. The airplane, owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and the one passenger sustained minor injuries. The personal flight, operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, originated from Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. There were no mechanical discrepancies with the airplane.

In a written statement by the pilot, he stated that he departed Santa Monica en route to Camarillo Airport. After a brief stop, he departed for a return flight back to Santa Monica. There were no discrepancies en route to Santa Monica, and after obtaining the ATIS and a clearance from the air traffic control tower, he made a right traffic pattern for runway 21. ATIS reported winds at 240 degrees and 12 knots. The pilot stated this was a normal crosswind for this particular airport. During the landing sequence, just as the landing gear was about to touchdown, there was a strong gust of wind from the right, which lifted the wing significantly. The airplane was lifted 6 feet in the air and then suddenly dropped to the ground. The airplane bounced and began to porpoise down the runway. The pilot applied full throttle and initiated a go-around. The plane accelerated and started to climb, but slowly due to the partially deployed speed brake. The airplane passed over the taxiway guardrail and clipped two aircraft parked next to a hanger. The airplane came to rest after it crossed another taxiway and hit a steel hangar door.

The pilot also stated that he spoke to witnesses at the airport who saw the accident. They stated that during the time of the accident they glanced at the windsock, which danced in all directions. The pilot said that one witness stated the windsock made a complete 360-degree circle.

In a telephone interview with a Federal Aviation Administration inspector just after the accident, the pilot told the inspector that while landing on runway 21 he lost control, bounced a few times, veered off the runway, and hit two parked airplanes and a hangar. He stated that there were no mechanical discrepancies with the airplane.

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