LAX02LA068
LAX02LA068

On January 21, 2002, at 1630 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 206H, N72635, impacted a snow bank and nosed over during landing rollout at Mammoth Yosemite Airport, Mammoth Lakes, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot was operating the airplane on a cross-country personal flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated at Santa Ana, California, at 1415, and was destined for Mammoth Lakes.

According to the pilot, at 0915, and prior to departing Santa Ana, he contacted the Federal Aviation Administration Riverside Flight Service Station (FSS) for a standard preflight weather briefing. Bishop, California, the nearest official weather reporting facility located 27 miles southeast of the destination airport, was reporting visual conditions with surface winds of 20 knots gusting to 35 knots, calming through the afternoon. At 1300, the pilot again contacted the Riverside FSS to verify that the weather was visual flight conditions. He received notice that the Mammoth Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) was reporting surface winds from 210 degrees at 14 knots with gusts to 24 knots.

At 1600, about 20 miles south of Mammoth, the pilot received the current ASOS, which was reporting the winds from 210 degrees at 25 knots gusting to 45. It further reported that runway 27 was in use and to avoid landing on the first 3,000 feet due to crosswinds. The pilot crabbed into the wind as he overflew the first 3,000 feet of runway 27. As he slowed to about 30 knots on the runway with crosswind control aileron input, a crosswind gust lifted the left wing. The airplane turned into a snow covered embankment. The pilot applied "full back pressure on the yoke to keep the nose from digging in," but the gusting wind lifted the tail up and over the top. The airplane came to rest in an inverted position in the snow.

A review of the Airport/Facility Directory, Southwest U.S., revealed the following in the remarks section of Mammoth Yosemite Airport:

"Airport located in mountainous terrain with occasional strong winds and turbulence with southerly crosswinds in excess of 15 knots, expect turbulence and possible windshear along first 3,000 feet of runway 27."

A review of the Cessna 206 Pilot Operating Handbook revealed a taxiing diagram under the Normal Procedures section. According to the taxiing diagram, when the airplane encountered the tailwind condition after being blown to the right, the pilot should have placed a down elevator control input, not an up elevator input.

According to the pilot, he accumulated at total of 400 flight hours, of which approximately 31 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

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