LAX02LA260
LAX02LA260

On August 21, 2002, at 1618 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 195 tail wheel equipped airplane, N4344V, nosed over while landing on runway 13 at the Willows-Glenn County Airport (WLW), Willows, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Willows about 1610.

In a written statement submitted by the pilot, he stated that he had flown his previously owned airplane (a Citabria) to Willows to exchange it for the accident airplane, which he had just purchased. He intended on conducting a few touch-and-go takeoffs and landings until he was comfortable before flying the accident airplane home. The pilot said that during his first landing, about 2 feet before touchdown, the airplane was "blown right of the runway." The airplane touched down in the "soft dirt" adjacent to the runway, the front tires dug into the dirt, and the airplane nosed over onto its back.

The Airport/Facility Directory, Southwest US, indicates that runway 13 at WLW is 100 feet wide.

The pilot indicated in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that he had a tail-wheel endorsement. He also reported under the section titled "How Could This Accident Have Been Prevented" that having more time in the type of airplane "would have been helpful," and "knowledge of local (dust devils) conditions" would have helped. The pilot reported having obtained a total of 560 flight hours, of which 5 hours were accumulated in the accident airplane make and model.

The closest weather observation facilities were in Chico, California (27 nautical miles north-northeast of Willows), and Oroville, California (28 nautical miles east of Willows). At 1550, the Chico weather observation facility reported the wind from 190 degrees at 7 knots. At 1553, the Oroville weather observation facility reported the wind as variable at 3 knots.

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