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On March 27, 2005, about 1440 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-32-301T, N8243L, veered off the runway during landing rollout at the Daugherty Field, Long Beach, California. The airplane overran three airport signs and was substantially damaged. The private pilot, who co-owned the airplane, was not injured during the personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight was performed under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and it originated from Santa Barbara, California, about 1345.
The pilot indicated to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that no evidence of any mechanical malfunction was noted with his airplane during the takeoff or en route flight. Upon arriving at Long Beach, his home base airport, nothing unusual was noted. The pilot stated that he made a routine landing on runway 30. The airplane veered left within seconds after touchdown. The pilot reported that he tried to straighten out the airplane's course, but he was not successful. No vibration or shimmy was noted at any time during the landing rollout. The pilot additionally reported that he lost directional control, and the airplane exited the left side of the runway and impacted the signs.
In the pilot's completed Aircraft Accident Report he indicated that during landing rollout he might have encountered a wind gust. He also indicated that the event surprised him and his reaction time was slow when a gust of wind steered the airplane to the left.
Runway 30 is 10,000 feet long and 200 feet wide. Runway 25 intersects runway 30.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The pilot exited the airplane after coming to a stop on a taxiway adjacent to the runway. The pilot reported that the bottom portion of the airplane's left wing was lacerated in two locations. One of the lacerations started beneath the wing's leading edge, and it terminated near the wing's trailing edge. Also, the fuel tank was punctured.
At 1453, Long Beach airport reported its wind was from 170 degrees at 5 knots. The sky condition was clear.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
At the direction of the Safety Board investigator, various airplane systems were examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airframe and powerplant mechanic. The mechanic reported that the landing gear, brake, and steering systems were functional. No mechanical malfunction or failures were found.
According to Long Beach air traffic control tower personnel, no airplane landed on runway 30 during the 5 minutes preceding the accident. Also, no jet airplane landed on runway 25L during this period.