LAX06CA263
LAX06CA263

On August 16, 2006, about 1700 Pacific daylight time, a Stinson Voyager 108-2, N9818K, departed runway 25, rolled down a cement culvert between the runway and taxiway near the terminal area, and nosed over at Nevada County Air Park (GOO), Grass Valley, 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 sustained substantial damage. The cross-country flight departed Rio Vista Municipal (O88), Rio Vista, California, about 1630, with a planned destination of Grass Valley. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The approximate global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of the final resting point of the airplane were 39 degrees 13.26 minutes north latitude and 121 degrees 00.11 minutes west longitude.

The pilot stated in a written report that on final approach he noted the wind conditions were variable with updrafts, downdrafts, and a crosswind. He made a wheel landing, and slowed to a taxi speed, "letting the tail wheel settle while monitoring the windsock midfield," which indicated a crosswind. The pilot reported that all three landing gear were on the ground while he was taxiing, and as he approached the midfield turnoff, the airplane encountered an "unusually strong burst/gust of wind" 90 degrees from the left. The crosswind gust picked up the airplane's left wing and tail. He stated that the wind gust was so strong it spun the airplane to the left into the wind gust before he could "fully react with a full correction."

The pilot reported that he attempted to return the airplane to runway heading with the application of "hard" right rudder, left aileron, up elevator, and the application of power to "kick the tail around to runway heading." However, the left and tail wheel landing gear remained in the air and the airplane skidded sideways. He noted that the correction brought the airplane partially back to runway heading. As the airplane gained some of its forward motion, it rolled off the runway, down a slight slope between the runway and taxiway, and into a drainage area where the airplane went up onto its nose and nosed over.

According to a responding deputy from the Nevada County Sheriff's Department, winds were from the south at 8 knots gusting to 16 knots when he arrived on-scene. The deputy noted a skid mark on runway 25 that extended from runway centerline to the edge of a taxiway, about 118.5 feet in length. The skid mark continued an additional 35.7 feet into a dry grass area where it impacted a cement culvert. The airplane came to rest upside down about 40 feet from the cement culvert.

The deputy interviewed a witness who reported that he watched the airplane land and taxi down the runway westbound. The airplane attempted to exit on taxiway B; however, the airplane's "turn stopped and locked up into a skid...." The airplane continued off the pavement and into a culvert. The witness observed the airplane's nose bounce up about 8 feet, impact the ground in a nose down attitude, and come to rest upside down.

Additional witnesses interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), reported that the airplane was traveling too fast after landing to safely make the turn onto the taxiway, the brakes appeared to "lock up," and the airplane came to rest inverted. The witnesses further reported that the pilot had plenty of runway remaining to safely slow the airplane down, and that the pilot did not have to make that particular turn in front of the terminal area.

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