FTW00LA041
FTW00LA041

On December 12, 1999, at 1230 central standard time, a Cessna 172N, N739ST, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees while maneuvering near Springhill, Louisiana. The private pilot, who was the owner of the airplane and sole occupant, received minor injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from the Springhill Municipal Airport about 20 minutes prior to the accident.

During a telephone interview conducted by the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that he had been hunting deer on his property earlier that morning and had wounded a deer. He decided to search for the wounded deer using his airplane. In the enclosed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot stated that he was flying over his property at 800 feet msl, at 70 knots, and with 10 degrees of flaps extended. He stated that he was making a left turn to the north, when the "wind picked [the] right wing tip up." The pilot reacted by "pushing forward on the yoke and leveling the wings and applying full power." The airplane descended through 500 feet msl, and the pilot felt as if the airplane "was being pushed to the ground." The airplane then impacted trees, located on the pilot's property, in a level flight attitude and subsequently impacted the ground. Both wings sustained structural damage, and the left main and nose landing gear collapsed.

At 1155, the weather observation facility at South Arkansas Regional Airport (located 33 miles northeast of Springhill) reported the wind from 010 degrees at 11 knots, visibility 1.5 statute miles in heavy rain showers and mist, overcast ceilings at 300 feet agl, temperature 50 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 48 degrees Fahrenheit, and altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of Mercury. At 1155, the weather observation facility at the Texarkana Regional Airport (located 40 miles northwest of Springhill) reported the wind from 300 degrees at 22 knots gusting to 32 knots.

The pilot reported that he did not seek any weather information other than his own observation prior to the flight. He also stated under the Recommendation (How Could This Accident Have Been Prevented) section of the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, that he "underestimated the severity of the wind."

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