On April 6, 2000, at 1930 hours Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-24, N180BC, veered off the runway and impacted a metal fence after landing at the Herlong, California, airport. The airplane, owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot was not injured. The personal cross-country flight, conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, had originated in Creswell, Oregon, about 1800, and was terminating at the time of the accident. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that after flying over the airport to check the wind conditions, he performed a normal landing to runway 24. During the landing rollout, while at about 50 mph, a strong gust of wind hit him from the left. The airplane veered to the right off the runway, then continued through a metal fence and into a field. There was damage to the left wing, aileron, and landing gear.

The pilot reported that the winds at Herlong at the time of the accident were from the southwest at 25 to 35 knots, gusting to 35 knots and higher.

According to the manufacturer, there is no published maximum crosswind component for the PA-24.

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