On May 21, 2002, about 1514 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Piper PA-12 airplane, N2514M, sustained substantial damage during landing at the Soldotna Airport, Soldotna, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The private certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from Anchorage, Alaska, about 1430.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on May 21, the pilot reported he was landing with a left crosswind on runway 07 at Soldotna. He indicated the wind sock was 90 degrees to the runway, standing straight out. During the landing roll, the right main landing gear collapsed. The right wing and the right elevator struck the ground. The pilot said the wind conditions were from the north about 12 knots.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations inspector, Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), arrived at the Soldotna Airport just after the accident. The inspector reported the right wing was bent upward about 15 degrees. The inspector also indicated that the wind conditions at the airport were regularly changing directions, and the automated weather observation system (AWOS) was not accurately reporting the wind direction.

At 1515, the AWOS was reporting in part: Wind, 020 degrees (true) at 6 knots; visibility, 9 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, clear; temperature, 73 degrees F; dew point, 29 degrees F; altimeter, 29.87 inHg.

The airport facility directory, Alaska Supplement, states, in part: "Airport remarks - Unattended. ...Runway 07 designated calm wind runway." The Radio/Nav/Weather remarks state, in part: "AWOS-3 wind may be unrepresentative of runway wind conditions."

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