LAX06CA215
LAX06CA215

On June 25, 2006, about 1930 Pacific daylight time, a Bellanca 7KCAB, N1098E, impacted a tree during an aborted landing at McClellan-Palomar Airport, Carlsbad, California. The pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane was destroyed. The cross-country personal flight departed French Valley Airport, Murrieta/Temecula, California, about 1900, with a planned destination of Palomar. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot submitted a written report. Prior to requesting a clearance to land, the pilot obtained the current automatic terminal information service (ATIS) information. He reported a 2-mile base and was cleared to land runway 24. The controller informed him that the winds were from 170 degrees at 8 knots.

On final approach, the pilot maintained the runway centerline using the crosswind correction technique. He performed a wheel landing to keep his speed up for the crosswind conditions. The airplane touched down on the left main wheel first, then the right main wheel touched down. After touchdown, the tail wheel started to vibrate and the pilot released backpressure on the flight controls to stop the vibration.

As the left wing started to move in an upward direction, the pilot felt the airplane "weathervane" to the left. Fearing that it would tilt or ground loop, he elected to abort the landing and applied full power. The airplane became airborne about 30 degrees left of the runway centerline heading towards buildings. He turned it to the right to proceed back towards the runway. He stated that the flight controls felt slow to respond to his input making the airplane difficult to maneuver back towards the runway. It crossed over the runway and was now facing buildings on the north side of the airport. He initiated a "gentle" left turn back to the runway. Shortly after, the airplane collided with a pine tree on the north side departure end of the runway in a straight and level attitude.

The pilot communicated his location to the tower controller, turned off all the switches, and released the emergency door latch to exit. He climbed down the tree, where emergency personnel met him.

The pilot stated that the airplane and engine had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.

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