LAX07CA174
LAX07CA174

On May 23, 2007, at 1830 eastern daylight time, a Beech 76, N5090M, landed hard and collapsed the landing gear at the Pahokee, Florida, airport. Ari Ben Aviator, Inc., operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The two pilots on board, both private pilots, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight. The flight departed St. Lucie County International Airport (FPR), Fort Pierce, Florida, at 1715, en route to Palm Beach County Glades Airport (PHK), Pahokee. No flight plan had been filed for the flight to PHK.

According to both pilots, the purpose of the flight was to build flight hours. They had decided to make a short VFR flight to PHK to practice landings. They split the preflight duties; the left seat pilot was to check the weather and NOTAMS, and the right seat pilot was to perform the preflight inspection. The left seat pilot was to fly the first leg to PHK, and the right seat pilot would work the radios. Both pilots also reported that the airplane performed normally and there were no mechanical problems.

In the left seat pilot's written statement he indicated that after practicing landings at PHK, they were going to activate their IFR flight plan and fly to several different area airports before returning to FPR. Prior to arrival at PHK, the right seat pilot attempted to pickup weather conditions. He switched over to CTAF and asked for airport advisories. Two other airplanes, one arriving and one departing, reported that they were landing on runway 17. The left seat pilot noted that they landed fast, and when they taxied past the windsock realized that the wind was favoring runway 35, and that they had landed with a tailwind. Prior to the next takeoff, the left seat pilot reported to CTAF that they were switching runways and taking off on runway 35; which would provide them with a headwind for landing. The left seat pilot performed one more landing without incident. He reported that on the accident flight, as soon as the other pilot had performed the go-around, and he retracted the flaps, a strong gust of wind from the right blew the airplane off of the runway.

The right seat pilot indicated that he decided to fly from the right to make the transition to his CFI training easier. His first landing at PHK was uneventful. On his second landing, the accident landing, he flew the approach with 10 degrees of flaps, and added another 10 degrees on short final. When the airplane crossed the threshold the pilot noted an indicated airspeed of 85 knots. The pilot reported that his flare was too high and the airplane bounced on the right main landing gear, which was "crabbed into the wind." The left seat pilot called out to go-around. The right seat pilot added power, and the other pilot retracted the flaps. He also said that as he added power the airplane banked "severely to the left," which placed it in a right wing low nose down attitude. He immediately reduced the throttles to idle and leveled the wings. The airplane landed hard on its right main landing gear, which sheared off, and impacted the trailing edge of the right flap. As the airplane continued in a forward direction, the nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to an abrupt stop.

The pilots said the winds were from 070 degrees at 17 knots, gusting to 22. They both reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures.

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