LAX07CA044
LAX07CA044

On November 22, 2006, at 1855 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N4925L, was substantially damaged after veering off the runway while landing at the Springerville Municipal Airport (D68), Springerville, Arizona. The private pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the flight, which originated from Safford, Arizona, at 1803. The accident site was located at 34 degrees 08.13 minutes north latitude and 109 degrees 18.60 minutes west longitude.

According to the pilot's written statement, he maneuvered the airplane throughout the traffic pattern, and while on final approach for runway 11, noticed that the airplane began a "slight drift to the right." The pilot placed the airplane in a sideslip to the left to counter the wind and realign with the runway centerline. The airplane's left main landing gear touched down on the runway first and "before [the pilot] knew it" the airplane was "rolling through a field to the left of the runway." The pilot added a little power and pulled back on the control yoke to soften the roll out. He then heard a loud bang and felt a jolt as the airplane spun sideways to the right and skidded on its belly. The airplane crossed over the other runway (03-21) before coming to rest on unimproved terrain.

The pilot reported that he secured the cockpit and examined the damage. He listened to the emergency radio frequency and noted that the airplane's emergency locator transmitter was sounding. He reported that the right main landing gear was torn off and the left and nose landing gear collapsed. A portion of the right main landing gear protruded from the top side of the right wing. The nose landing gear punctured the left front floor, 3 to 4 inches in front of the left cockpit seat. In addition, three runway lights were broken during the event.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot indicated that he simply lost directional control of the airplane during landing. He reported that there were no noted problems with the airplane's steering mechanism prior to the loss of control event.

At 1854, the weather observation facility located at the St. Johns Industrial Air Park (24 nautical miles north of the accident site) reported the wind as calm. At 1930, the weather observation facility at the Show Low Regional Airport (35 nautical miles west of the accident site) reported with wind from 190 degrees at 6 knots.

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