FTW02LA115
FTW02LA115

On April 10, 2002, at 1215 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172S single-engine airplane, N960TA, was substantially damaged when it impacted a ditch while landing at the Angel Fire Airport (AXX) near Angel Fire, New Mexico. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from Albuquerque, New Mexico, at 1100, with AXX as its destination.

The 151-hour pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that upon entering the airport traffic area, the UNICOM operator reported the wind from 240 degrees at 19 knots, and he elected to land on runway 17 (8,900 feet long by 100 feet wide). The pilot stated that a few seconds after landing, he experienced a strong gust of wind. Subsequently, the airplane veered to the right and exited the runway towards a 4-foot deep drainage ditch that runs parallel to the runway. The airplane impacted the ditch, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The pilot further reported in the Recommendation (How Could This Accident Have Been Prevented) section of the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 that "landing at an alternate airport" could have prevented this accident.

An examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, revealed the airplane's vertical stabilizer, rudder, and propeller were damaged and the left wing spar was bent. The nose of the airplane was also damaged, and the nose landing gear was displaced aft.

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