LAX01LA183
LAX01LA183

On May 5, 2001, at 1115 hours mountain standard time, a North American AT-6D, N7421C, sustained substantial damage when it struck taxiway signs and a ditch on the landing rollout from runway 30 at the Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott, Arizona. The pilot was operating the borrowed airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The certified flight instructor (CFI) pilot and commercial pilot were not injured. The local flight departed Prescott about 1100. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accident coordinator, the commercial pilot trainee recently purchased a similar airplane. The purpose of the flight was to receive transition training flight instruction to include takeoffs and landings.

In the CFI's written statement to the Safety Board, he stated that the previous landings had been on runway 21L and the winds were variable at 6 knots. As the day progressed the winds started to change direction and increase in velocity. The CFI stated that when the tower controller changed the active runway to 30, winds were from 350 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 18 knots.

The CFI stated that on the accident landing there were no discrepancies noted until the airplane was struck by a gust of wind just as it touched down. He initiated a go-around and then decided to abort the go-around due to a ditch off to the right side of the runway. The CFI stated that he had not been aware of the ditch. He applied full opposite rudder and brake, but was not able to control the airplane. The CFI reported that as the airplane went to the right towards the ditch, it struck taxi signs. The airplane "traveled through the ditch and out the opposite side."

The FAA inspector interviewed the CFI. The CFI stated that the previous landings were three-point landings, and that they hadn't gone as well as he had hoped they would. The CFI reported that the accident landing was to be a "wheel landing." When the airplane touched down it was in a slight crab. Before he could straighten the airplane it departed the runway to the right. The CFI attempted to regain directional control; however, the controls were "stiff" as if the student pilot had not released the controls. The airplane was taxied to the ramp by the CFI.

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