On November 26, 2002, at 1430 mountain standard time, a Maule M-4-210, N4746T, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when the airplane departed the right side of runway 25 (6,880 feet by 60 feet, dry asphalt) and impacted into a gully at the Creede-Mineral County Memorial Airport, Creede, Colorado. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported no injuries The flight originated at Alamosa, Colorado, at 1315, and was en route to Creede, Colorado.

The pilot reported that during landing, he encountered an unexpected crosswind, and the airplane drifted off of the runway.

An examination of the airplane showed the right main landing gear broken aft. The outboard portions of the left and right wings near the tips were broken and torn. The left wing strut was bent aft. The propeller showed chordwise scratches. Flight control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the engine and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

At 1452, the weather conditions at Alamosa, Colorado (56 miles from Creede at 104 degrees), were reported as clear skies, 10 miles visibility, and winds of 040 degrees at 6 knots.

Federal Aviation Administration records showed the pilot obtained his private pilot certificate on September 14, 2002. The pilot reported that at the time of the accident, he had 87 total flying hours, and 32 hours in the accident airplane, 7 of which were as pilot-in-command.

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