LAX04CA155
LAX04CA155

On March 12, 2004, about 1600 Pacific standard time, an experimental Christen Eagle II biplane, N796L, collided with a taxiway sign while attempting to land at Hollister Municipal Airport (3O7), Hollister, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal local flight originated from South County Airport of Santa Clara County (Q99), San Martin, California, about 1510, with the planned destination of 3O7. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he was attempting to land on runway 31. A crosswind from the left required him to perform a forward slip. As the airplane approached the runway, he raised the nose and leveled the airplane. He noted that the airplane was to the right of centerline, by looking out the left side of the cockpit; in a nose-high attitude the pilot is unable to see in front of this airplane. In his peripheral vision, he could see pavement on both sides of the airplane, leading him to believe that he was still over the runway. The landing gear collided with a taxiway sign off the right side of the runway, and the nose impacted the ground. The airplane skidded across the taxiway and came to rest before reaching runway 6/24.

The pilot noted that there is old pavement adjacent to both sides of the runway, making it appear wider than it is. He reported that the wind was from 290 degrees at 10 knots. The pilot did not report any mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

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