LAX04CA242
LAX04CA242

On June 17, 2004, about 1230 Pacific daylight time, a Vans RV-9A, N93AZ, impacted trees during an aborted landing at The Sea Ranch Airport, The Sea Ranch, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal cross-country flight departed Gustine Airport, Gustine, California, about 1115, with a planned destination of The Sea Ranch. 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 30. He reported that the windsocks at the airport were all in different positions, indicating that the winds were variable. On final approach, with the airplane on runway centerline, he encountered turbulence. Upon touchdown, the airplane drifted to the left and he initiated a go-around by applying full power and retracting flaps. During the initial climb out, the airplane continued to the left, and the pilot attempted to counteract the drift. About 10 feet above ground level, the airplane impacted trees that bordered the left side of the runway.

During a telephone conversation with a National Transporation Safety Board investigator, the pilot reported that upon touchdown, the airplane bounced and veered to the left. As the airplane approached the left edge of the runway, he opted to abort the landing. He added full power and began to retract the flaps in an effort to gain altitude. After the airplane became airborne, it encountered a gust of wind. The airplane flipped over on the left side and impacted trees.

The pilot further noted that after the accident he talked to a witness on the ground. The witness told him that he felt a gust of wind from a southwesterly direction as he watched the airplane collide with the surrounding trees. The airplane incurred damage to the propeller, nose gear, tail, and fuselage. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.

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