ERA09CA475
ERA09CA475

At the completion of a cross country flight, the pilot entered the traffic pattern for a landing on runway 31. The pilot was advised via the airport Unicom frequency that the winds were unpredictable, and observed that “the windsock indicated little if any wind.” After the flare for landing on the 5,003-foot-long by 100-foot-wide asphalt runway, the tail-wheel-equipped airplane "weathervaned" to the right. The pilot then decided to abort the landing; however the airplane departed the right side of the runway and impacted a berm, resulting in serious injury to the pilot and substantial damage to the airplane. Winds recorded 16 nautical miles northeast of the airport were aligned with the runway heading at 9 knots, gusting to 14 knots. Another airport located 31 nautical miles northwest recorded winds at 330 degrees at 9 knots gusting to 19 knots. Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The inspector found skid marks from both tires on the runway surface and he noted that the airplane sustained damage to the engine firewall, fuselage, and wings.

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