On August 16, 2002, approximately 1330 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 120, N72594, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, lost control of the aircraft during the landing roll and cart wheeled at Missoula International Airport, Missoula, Montana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated from Butte, Montana, about one hour and 30 minutes prior to the accident.

During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot reported that he had just purchased this aircraft and was flying it from Butte to his home base in Moses Lake, Washington. A stop in Missoula was made for fueling. The pilot stated that he was landing on runway 29 with a known high cross-wind condition (30 to 35 knots and 45 degrees to the runway heading) as the tower controller was informing the pilot of the wind condition during his approach. The pilot reported that during the approach he had nearly full right aileron control and nearly full left rudder control applied to maintain runway alignment. The pilot stated, "I tried to do a 1 wheel, wheel landing. This is done by immediately applying forward pressure to the control column when the 1 wheel contacts the runway." When the pilot did this, the airplane bounced and continued to bounce for about 1,000 feet before he decided to abort the landing. When the pilot applied back pressure and power, he lost control of the airplane. The left wing contacted the ground and the airplane cart wheeled, substantially damaging both wings.

The Missoula surface weather observation reported at 1335 indicated winds from 360 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 23 knots.

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