CHI01LA253
CHI01LA253

On July 26, 2001, at 1745 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 150, N714GF, sustained substantial damage prior to taxi when a gust of wind flipped it over on its back. The student pilot, who was on a supervised student solo flight, was not injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight had intended to depart the Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP), Rapid City, South Dakota, on a local training flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The student pilot reported arrived at RAP about 1700 and checked the weather. He reported the winds were from the south and under 10 knots. He reported, "The sky conditions appeared favorable with good visibility." He noted Convective SIGMET's were issued for convective activity about 120 nautical miles away.

He reported pulling the airplane from the hangar to do a preflight inspection. He called a fuel truck to fuel the airplane. At 1735, he reported that he started the engine and continued to accomplish the checklist items. He reported that about 10 minutes later he was still accomplishing the checklist items and had not started to taxi, when "...all of a sudden, the control wheels started to abruptly move forward and backward on there own and my initial thought was that someone was messing with me by playing with my elevator. My first reaction was to hold the control wheel forward to stabilize the movement while at the same time I turned to look behind me. When I turned to look, I saw that the sky was dark and I remember seeing debris swirling about." He stated further, "...In a matter of seconds I felt the tail and [end] of the plane rising up...The next thing I remember is being violently flipped over and I was now hanging upside down, suspended by my seatbelt and shoulder harness."

At 1655, the surface weather observation at RAP was: winds 170 degrees at 6 knots, 10 mile visibility, light rain, clear, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C, altimeter 29.95.

At 1759, the surface weather observation at RAP was: winds 140 degrees at 31 knots gusting to 37 kts, 1 3/4 miles visibility, rain, mist, 2,800 feet scattered, 4,900 feet broken, 6,500 feet overcast, temperature 17 degrees C, dewpoint 16 degrees C, altimeter 29.98.

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