SEA00LA181
SEA00LA181

On September 20, 2000, about 1135 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172M, C-GHNV, operated by Centennial Flying School as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with trees during a go-around at Brookings State airport, Brookings, Oregon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the private pilot was seriously injured. The passenger received minor injuries. The aircraft departed from Newberg, Oregon, about two hours prior to the accident. The flight plan indicated that the destination was Medford, Oregon.

During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot reported that prior to departure from Newberg, he got a weather briefing from the Flight Service Station (FSS). The weather was reported as visual conditions for the route of flight. The pilot filed a visual flight plan to Medford. The pilot stated that he was not sure where along the route that he decided not to land at Medford because of the decreased visibility and a layer of clouds that he did not did not want to descend through. The pilot stated that he contacted air traffic control and requested the weather for Gold Beach, Oregon. The controller informed the pilot that the weather was clear, however, he did not give the pilot the wind conditions. The pilot then amended his flight plan and diverted to Gold Beach. When the flight arrived in Gold Beach, the winds were 25-30 knots and gusting. The pilot stated that he attempted a landing, but aborted the approach because the winds were too strong. The pilot then diverted to Brookings where the winds were reported to about 10 knots. The pilot stated that he does not remember all of the events leading up to the accident, but remembers flying the downwind leg, which he extended. While on the downwind leg, the aircraft was encountering turbulence. The pilot then turned to base and final approach in one continuous turn to get lined up with runway 30. At this point, the pilot stated that he only remembers that the approach was not stable, then the touchdown and then trees.

During a telephone interview, the passenger stated that she remembered everything about the accident sequence and was able to add to the areas in which the pilot could not remember. The passenger stated that the approach to the runway was "bumpy" and that the pilot told her to tighten her shoulder harness before landing. She also reported that there was a strong, gusting crosswind. As the airplane approached for touchdown, it was "bouncing" in the air. The passenger was not sure exactly where the airplane touched down, but thought that it was about half way down the runway and that she did not think that the airplane had enough room to stop. During the landing roll, the airplane veered to the left and off the pavement onto the grass. The pilot then added full power, and the engine sounded normal and "roared" when the power was added. She stated that the airplane just did not have enough speed or room to clear the trees.

Ground signatures located at the airport indicate that the aircraft departed the pavement about 2,212 feet down the 2,900-foot runway. Light tire marks lead onto the grass. About 350 feet into the grass, the airplane became airborne. Shortly thereafter, the aircraft collided with low brush, followed by contact with taller trees. The aircraft came to rest inverted about 1,100 feet from the point of runway departure.

At 1056, Crescent City airport, the closest reporting weather facility, located 18 miles south of Brookings, was reporting the wind from 20 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 22 knots.

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