On May 2, 2002, approximately 1230 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180 single-engine airplane, N7504W, sustained substantial damage following a loss of control during landing on runway 28 at the Dona Ana County Airport near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The airplane was owned by PIR, Inc., of Salem, Oregon, and operated by a private individual under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed San Angelo, Texas, at an unknown time, with a planned destination of Deming, New Mexico.

The pilot reported that during the cross-country flight the airplane encountered "strong headwinds and got low on fuel." The pilot requested and received flight following to the nearest airport for refueling. During the landing, the aircraft veered off the runway when it encountered gusty winds. Subsequently, the nose gear collapsed, and the aircraft came to rest upright.

A mechanic, who examined the airplane, reported structural damage to the engine firewall.

At 1251, the El Paso weather observation facility (located approximately 22 nautical miles east of the accident site) reported the wind from 220 degrees at 9 knots with gusts to 16 knots. Further, the wind was variable from 180 degrees to 260 degrees.

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