LAX02LA222
LAX02LA222

On July 9, 2002, at 1914 mountain standard time, a Beech 95-B55, N812D, landed hard on runway 22L, and collapsed the right main landing gear, at the Falcon Field Airport (FFZ), Mesa, Arizona. Falcon Executive Aviation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed the Payson Airport (PAN), Payson, Arizona, about 1845, and was destined for FFZ.

According to the pilot's written statement, he called FFZ control tower to obtain weather information prior to departure. He learned that a "dust storm had just went through the area and tower reported that the visibility was more than 5 miles with a wind of 150 degrees at 10 knots." The pilot departed for FFZ.

Approximately 15 miles from his destination, the pilot contacted the FFZ control tower and asked for a weather report. The control tower personnel indicated that the "wind had picked up and visibility was still good." According to the pilot, control tower personnel "continued to give wind checks until [the] accident." As the airplane crossed over the runway threshold, the pilot reduced power at an airspeed of approximately 110 mph. The airplane "fell from the sky," impacted the runway, and bounced back into the air. The pilot applied full power in an attempt to abort the landing "with negative results." The airplane bounced two more times before coming to rest in the dirt adjacent to the runway.

The right main landing gear sheared off, and the right wing tip was torn off. The pilot stated that there were no discrepancies noted with the airplane.

A review of FFZ's weather observations revealed the following:

At 1745, the wind was from 050 degrees at 10 knots and the visibility was 40 miles.

At 1849, the wind was from 130 degrees at 25 knots with gusts to 35 knots and visibility 1.5 miles in blowing dust.

At 1914, the wind was recorded from 150 degrees at 18 knots with gusts at 28 knots and visibility 5 miles in blowing dust.

At 1945, the wind was from 130 degrees at 20 knots with a visibility of 20 miles.

According to tower personnel, the pilot contacted FFZ tower about 20 miles north of the airport requesting weather information. They issued the weather, with emphasis placed on the winds. Tower personnel also informed him that a crosswind existed, and that it was "favoring runway 22L." Tower personnel issued wind information three more times and cleared the airplane to land.

Responding police officers from the Mesa police department stated that it was very windy when they arrived at the accident site.

According to the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), the maximum demonstrated crosswind component is 22 knots (it should be noted that this is not a limitation). Review of the POH Wind Component Chart revealed that the airplane encountered gusts consisting of a 10-knot headwind component and approximately 26-knot crosswind component.

According to the pilot, he accumulated a total of 1,746 flight hours, of which 179 hours were obtained in the accident airplane make and model.


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