SEA04LA098
SEA04LA098

On June 4, 2004, about 1920 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-18-150, N82172, registered to a private individual and flown by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with an airport hangar during a go-around at the Columbus Airport, Columbus, Montana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the commercial pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The flight originated from Pryor, Montana, about 1830.

During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot reported that thunderstorms and showers were moving through the area at the time with a strong crosswind present. The pilot flew around the area for about 30 minutes then returned for landing. The pilot attempted one landing to runway 28 with no flaps extended, but because of too high an airspeed, initiated a go-around. During the second attempt with one notch of flaps extended, the aircraft touched down, and the pilot was maintaining directional control until the tail touched down and a strong gust of wind from the left hit the aircraft. The pilot was having difficulty maintaining directional control so he increased power to go-around. The engine momentarily hesitated and the aircraft began to travel to the right side, heading off the runway surface at about a 45 degree angle toward airport hangars. The aircraft traveled through the median and taxiway ramp before becoming airborne. Just prior to colliding with the first hangar, the pilot banked the airplane to the left, however, the right wing clipped the corner of the hangar. The aircraft continued on for another about 50 yards before colliding into the roof of a second hangar.

Witnesses reported that the strong gusting wind was out of the south at about 15 to 20 knots with thunderstorms in the area.

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