On March 16, 2001, at 1255 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-18-150, N3947Z, operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage during a full stop landing on runway 12 (6,600 feet by 100 feet, dry asphalt) at the Sidney Municipal Airport, Sidney, Nebraska, when it departed the runway and struck a berm. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot and passenger on board the airplane reported no injuries. The cross-country flight originated at the Greeley-Weld County Airport, Greeley, Colorado, at 1120, and was en route to Sidney, Nebraska.

In his written statement, the pilot said that he made a 3-point landing on runway 12. The airplane "rolled solid on all 3 wheels for approximately 30-50 feet ... when [a] gust picked up [the] mains (main landing gear)." The pilot said he momentarily applied full power raising the airplane to a level attitude. The airplane contacted the runway in a left-to-right drift. The pilot said he reapplied full power as the airplane drifted. The rotation to the right stopped with the airplane approximately 80 degrees to the runway. The pilot said he continued with full power in an attempt to fly away level. The airplane contacted a 3-foot high berm which caused the airplane to bounce into a nose high attitude. The pilot said he pushed the nose over and contacted the ground.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane was resting upright on the south side of a dirt berm approximately 78 yards southwest of the runway's right edge. Preceding the airplane's location were tire marks that began on the runway and veered off the right edge, southwest until reaching the berm. The airplane's left wing was bent upward and aft. The left wingtip was folded upward. The left wing's rear spar and two ribs were bent aft. Two of the left main landing gear's upper support braces were broken. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies were found with the airplane's engine, engine controls or other systems.

At 1253, the Routine Aviation Weather Report for the Sidney Municipal Airport was clear skies, 10 miles visibility, temperature 39 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 23 degrees F, winds 150 degrees at 10 knots, gusts to 15 knots, and altimeter 29.99 inches of Mercury.

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