WPR11LA216
WPR11LA216

On May 1, 2011, about 1630 Pacific daylight time, a Dralle (Van's Aircraft) RV-8, N998RV, sustained substantial damage during the landing roll at Livermore Municipal Airport, Livermore, California. The pilot was operating the experimental amateur-built airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot was not injured. The cross-country personal flight departed Los Banos Municipal Airport, Los Banos, California, about 1600. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane performed a straight-in approach and subsequent wheel landing on runway 25R. He reported a direct 8-knot crosswind, gusting to 15. As the airplane slowed and the tail dropped, the pilot applied full aft elevator control input. His intention was to exit to the right onto taxiway E, and as he approached the taxiway he applied brakes. He reported that as he initiated the turn, a gust of wind caught the right wing, tipping the airplane onto the left wing and causing the left aileron hinge to scrape on the runway. The airplane then hopped two times on the left main landing gear. The pilot applied left rudder, realigning the airplane with the runway centerline, and the airplane came to a stop. He assessed the situation, and not perceiving any damage, continued to taxi back to his hangar.

Post accident examination revealed that the left landing gear mounting box and the adjacent fuselage structure was bent. Additionally, the left wing sustained buckling damage to its leading edge adjacent to the forward fuselage mounting point and landing gear box.

The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation. He further stated that the accident could have been prevented by either slowing the airplane down prior to exiting at the chosen taxiway, or continuing to the next available taxiway. He additionally cited gusty wind conditions as aggravating the situation.

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