LAX06CA038
LAX06CA038

On November 17, 2005, at 1210 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-28RT-201 airplane, N2863X, stalled while on short final and made a hard landing on runway 30R at the Meadows Field Airport, Bakersfield, California. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed Porterville, California, at 1145, and was destined for Bakersfield.

According to the pilot's statement, she was asked to report right downwind for runway 30R after arriving at Meadows Field. The air traffic controller asked if she could make a short final approach due to traffic. She accepted the request for the short final. She reported the airplane was at 120 knots on downwind, 110 knots on base, and 75-80 knots on final. She added that she had to make a "slight s-turn" to final approach to correct for overshooting the runway centerline. As she entered the landing flare, she noted "something was wrong" with the airplane, as it did not respond properly to pitch input. The airplane touched down hard with a very high sink rate in a nose level pitch attitude.

Air traffic controllers reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, that the pilot was asked to make a short approach for traffic considerations. The pilot accepted the request and turned onto the base leg abeam taxiway Charlie (about 2,400 feet down the paved surface, which was a displaced threshold). The controllers observed the airplane overshoot the final approach and then entered a steep bank to return to the runway centerline. The airplane then lost altitude and impacted the ground to the left of the runway centerline. The landing gear collapsed on impact, the airplane bounced once and skidded to stop to the right side of the runway near taxiway Delta (about 3,600 feet down the paved surface, still on the displaced portion of the runway).

Post-accident examination of the airplane by an FAA airworthiness inspector and a local mechanic revealed no preimpact anomalies with the airplane that would have prevented its normal operation. The airplane sustained structural damage to both wings and the fuselage. The landing gear were sheared from the airplane.

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