CHI00LA015
CHI00LA015

On October 24, 1999, at 1230 eastern daylight time, a Welch Murphy Rebel, N8160X, built and piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with trees during a go around on runway 25 (3,425 feet X 120 feet, dry/grass) at Schiffer Acres Airport near Saint Johns, Michigan. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in Visual Meteorological Conditions. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The flight originated from Glowacki Airport, near Saint Johns, Michigan at 1200 and was performing landings at the time of the accident.

At 1255, the Capital City Airport, Lansing, Michigan weather observation was: Wind 290 degrees at 11 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition broken 2,500 feet; temperature 4 degrees C; dew point 0 degrees C; altimeter 30.19 inches of mercury.

The pilot stated that he attempted a 3-point landing with 30 degrees of flaps. He said that he encountered two gusts of wind. He said that the first gust blew him up about 10 feet and the second had turned him 90 degrees to the left. The pilot said, "I eased the power in until I was going in one direction. At this point-going down wind-it didn't look like enough room to land. I added full power (she normally will climb 11-1200 FPM) but I wasn't climbing-I still had 30 of flaps-I took one notch off and we started to climb. I got to 45, took another notch off, still climbing-almost to the top of the trees-got to 50, decided to leave last 10 of flaps on until we cleared the trees-at the rate we were climbing. I started to level off a bit to get a little more airspeed, at that moment I heard a bang. The flap lever released (I must not have set the lever all the way down in the notch) with the flaps removed the plane sunk maybe 5'-we didn't have 5' and with a tail wind it was like being pulled by a rope-you are just along for the ride. The tail hit the top of the trees first...." The pilot listed 4.4 hours of total flight time in this make and model airplane.

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