SEA03LA036
SEA03LA036

On February 8, 2003, approximately 1300 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172N, N734KU, nosed over during the landing roll at McMinnville Municipal Airport, McMinnville, Oregon. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, but the aircraft, which is owned and operated by Starks Twin Oaks Airpark, Inc., sustained substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal pleasure flight, which was being conducted in the VFR pattern at McMinnville, was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed, and there was no report of an ELT activation.

According to the pilot, who was landing in gusty crosswinds, he had already made one landing and was on the landing roll of his second when he encountered crosswinds that lifted the aircraft's left wing in the air. At the same time as the wing was being lifted, the aircraft started drifting toward the right side of the runway. As the pilot attempted to get the wing down using aileron deflection, and tried to get the aircraft heading straight down the runway, it felt to him like the aircraft was going to cartwheel. He therefore decided to let the aircraft go off the side of the runway in the direction it was headed. After departing the runway, the aircraft encountered soft terrain, whereupon the nose gear dug in and the aircraft nosed over. According to the pilot, except for a minor nose wheel shimmy, there did not seem to be any problems with the aircraft's controls.

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