On January 19, 2005, about 1710 central standard time, a Cessna 182J single-engine airplane, N2855F, was substantially damaged following a loss of control while landing at the Malvern Municipal Airport (M78), near Malvern, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was registered to the USDA Forest Service FEPP, and operated by the Arkansas Forestry Commission, both of Little Rock, Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 fire detection flight. The local flight originated from the M78 airport at 1230.

According to the 1,062-hour pilot, while flaring to land on runway 22 (3,188-foot by 60-foot runway), she had difficulty seeing the runway due to sun glare. Upon touchdown the airplane started swerving to the left. The pilot corrected for the left swerve and started to apply the brakes. The airplane then started "skidding" to the right and departed the right side of the runway, before impacting a ditch. The airplane came to rest in an upright position.

The pilot further reported that there did not appear to be any malfunction or anomalies in the flight controls or rudder system of the aircraft.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration provided photographs of the damaged airplane to an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. The photographs revealed the fuselage and left outboard wing leading edge sustained structural damage.

At 1753 central standard time, the weather observation facility at Memorial Field Airport (HOT), near Hot Springs, Arkansas, which is located approximately 18.4 miles northwest of the accident site, was reporting wind from 250 degrees at five knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear of clouds, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.22 inches of Mercury.

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