ATL04LA080
ATL04LA080

On March 7, 2004, at 1736 central standard time, a Maule M-7, N5655P registered to and operated by a commercial pilot ground looped at Nashville International Airport, Nashville, Tennessee. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with VFR flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the commercial pilot and pilot rated passenger were uninjured. The flight departed Yeager Airport, Charleston, West Virginia, on March 7, 2004 at 1530 eastern standard time.

According to the pilot, during the final approach to land "a significant amount of left aileron was used to correct for the left crosswind component of wind at the time." During the landing flare on runway 31, a strong gust of wind from the left lifted the airplane. The pilot was unable to maintain control and landed hard on the right main landing gear and ground looped. No flight control or mechanical anomalies were reported by the pilot prior to the accident.

Examination of the airplane revealed, the right wing assembly, fuselage, and right main strut was buckled. Review of the weather conditions for Nashville International Airport at 1744 reported winds at 300 degrees,17 knots and gusting to 25 knots.

Review of the Maule MX-7-235; Airplane Flight Manual, Normal Flight Procedures, section 3.3-F: Crosswind Landings & Takeoffs, states: Maximum demonstrated crosswind component is 12 knots (14 mph) and flap extension should be limited to 0-degrees (one notch) or -7 degrees with such crosswind or higher. 14 mph is the maximum demonstrated for certification of the airplane and is not considered limiting with flaps at 0-degrees.

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