On August 1, 2008, about 1630 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 172 airplane, N2357U, sustained substantial damage when it departed the runway during the landing flare/touchdown at Merrill Field, Anchorage, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The commercial certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Homer Airport, Homer, Alaska, about 1430.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on August 5, the pilot reported that he was landing on runway 25 at Merrill Field. During the landing flare, just as the main landing gear tires touched down, the airplane was struck by a strong wind from the right. The pilot attempted to correct for the wind, and added engine power, but the airplane departed the left side of the runway. The nose gear collapsed when it encountered soft terrain along the side of the runway, which spun the airplane around about 180 degrees.

At 1634, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at Merrill Field was reporting, in part: Wind, 280 degrees (true) at 11 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, 5,000 feet broken; temperature, 61 degrees F; dew point, 52 degrees F; altimeter, 28.89 inHg.

In the "Recommendation" (How could this accident have been prevented) section of the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1) submitted by the pilot, the pilot noted he could have utilized "Better use of aileron and rudder for directional control."

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