On May 5, 2006, about 1135 Pacific daylight time, a Stinson 108, N97648, collided with terrain during an aborted landing at Auburn Municipal Airport (AUN), Auburn, California. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local personal flight departed Auburn about 1100. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot stated in a written report that prior to departing he had spent an hour observing local wind conditions and air traffic. He conducted a preflight examination of the airplane, and adjusted air in all of the tires. He reported that there were 22 gallons of useable fuel on board.

The pilot planned on conducting a 30-minute flight. Prior to departure, the wind was 6 knots out of the north gusting to 12 knots. He proceeded to taxi to runway 25 for departure, but observed the winds shifting, and elected to turn around for a departure from runway 7.

After departing in a westerly direction and clearing Auburn airspace, the pilot decided to return to the airport. He entered a left traffic pattern for runway 7. During this time, he monitored the windsock, and noted winds varying from a left quartering headwind to a direct left crosswind. He then checked the automated weather observation system (AWOS), which was reporting variable winds from the north at 9 knots, gusting to 16 knots.

Upon touchdown, the pilot experienced a strong gust from the north, and applied full power with the intention of aborting the landing. The airplane then stalled, and landed hard between the runway and parallel taxiway, spreading the main landing gear and bending the airframe structure behind the cabin. The pilot stated that the airplane and engine had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.

A witness, who is a flight instructor, observed the accident from the ramp south of runway 7. He had just cancelled a tail wheel flight lesson 10 minutes prior due to excessive crosswinds. He was facing away from the runway, but turned around as he heard the power applied to the accident airplane. As he turned, he saw the airplane approaching him, nose up at an altitude of 15-20 feet. The nose continued to climb, and he feared it might stall. The right wing then dropped, and the tail and right landing gear collided with the ground. The airplane continued to skid along the ground until it came to rest between the runway and taxiway.

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