|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : ffa|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Skyhawk 172/Cutlass 172|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||landing other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : commercial
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 200|
flight time total : 550
flight time type : 300
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
|Airport||other physical facility|
I departed the airport with the knowledge of 'typical' afternoon thunderstorms. It was approaching sunset and ffa had no runway lights or pilots area for essential preflight preparation. I noticed some very dark clouds to the northwest. I decided that it would be best to depart ffa and land at mqi (which has runway lights, FBO, etc) in case we had to situation out the storms. Mqi is only about 3 mi to the southwest of ffa. When we departed the winds were very light, visibility was great with some low clouds. I took off and all of a sudden it started to storm (ie, heavy showers and torrential down pour and gusty winds). The visibility was almost nothing. I decided to turn back, I never even left the pattern. There was a very strong crosswind from the right (at least 35 KTS). I managed to put the airplane on the runway and a gust of wind from the left pushed the airplane off of the right side of the runway. Because of the rain there was no braking action, I just rode it out on the grass. The airplane was coming to a stop on the very end of the airport and as we began to stop we slid down a grassy trench and the propeller hit the mud and stopped. Before it had it we were at idle. I pushed the airplane by hand back to the ramp. Upon inspection, it appeared that one side of the propeller was slightly bent. I parked the airplane until inspection from an a&P. There are no wind socks visible from any section of the runway. P.south. There have been 3 more reported incidents of the same nature at this airport in the previous 2 months. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter states his incident was very minor because he had power at idle and forward motion was almost stopped. Only 1 blade of the propeller was bent. His concern was that the wind socks are not visible from the ground as there are trees blocking them from view. When an aircraft becomes airborne, at about 50 ft, the wind socks are then visible. Not good for making decision on which runway to use. The wind shifts rapidly at times as in reporter's situation. This is a state parks airport and this is the 4TH accident in recent months and 1 aircraft was totalled.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA PLT HAS RWY EXCURSION LNDG IN XWIND AND STORM CONDITIONS.
Narrative: I DEPARTED THE ARPT WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF 'TYPICAL' AFTERNOON TSTMS. IT WAS APCHING SUNSET AND FFA HAD NO RWY LIGHTS OR PLTS AREA FOR ESSENTIAL PREFLT PREPARATION. I NOTICED SOME VERY DARK CLOUDS TO THE NW. I DECIDED THAT IT WOULD BE BEST TO DEPART FFA AND LAND AT MQI (WHICH HAS RWY LIGHTS, FBO, ETC) IN CASE WE HAD TO SIT OUT THE STORMS. MQI IS ONLY ABOUT 3 MI TO THE SW OF FFA. WHEN WE DEPARTED THE WINDS WERE VERY LIGHT, VISIBILITY WAS GREAT WITH SOME LOW CLOUDS. I TOOK OFF AND ALL OF A SUDDEN IT STARTED TO STORM (IE, HVY SHOWERS AND TORRENTIAL DOWN POUR AND GUSTY WINDS). THE VISIBILITY WAS ALMOST NOTHING. I DECIDED TO TURN BACK, I NEVER EVEN LEFT THE PATTERN. THERE WAS A VERY STRONG XWIND FROM THE R (AT LEAST 35 KTS). I MANAGED TO PUT THE AIRPLANE ON THE RWY AND A GUST OF WIND FROM THE L PUSHED THE AIRPLANE OFF OF THE R SIDE OF THE RWY. BECAUSE OF THE RAIN THERE WAS NO BRAKING ACTION, I JUST RODE IT OUT ON THE GRASS. THE AIRPLANE WAS COMING TO A STOP ON THE VERY END OF THE ARPT AND AS WE BEGAN TO STOP WE SLID DOWN A GRASSY TRENCH AND THE PROP HIT THE MUD AND STOPPED. BEFORE IT HAD IT WE WERE AT IDLE. I PUSHED THE AIRPLANE BY HAND BACK TO THE RAMP. UPON INSPECTION, IT APPEARED THAT ONE SIDE OF THE PROP WAS SLIGHTLY BENT. I PARKED THE AIRPLANE UNTIL INSPECTION FROM AN A&P. THERE ARE NO WIND SOCKS VISIBLE FROM ANY SECTION OF THE RWY. P.S. THERE HAVE BEEN 3 MORE RPTED INCIDENTS OF THE SAME NATURE AT THIS ARPT IN THE PREVIOUS 2 MONTHS. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATES HIS INCIDENT WAS VERY MINOR BECAUSE HE HAD PWR AT IDLE AND FORWARD MOTION WAS ALMOST STOPPED. ONLY 1 BLADE OF THE PROP WAS BENT. HIS CONCERN WAS THAT THE WIND SOCKS ARE NOT VISIBLE FROM THE GND AS THERE ARE TREES BLOCKING THEM FROM VIEW. WHEN AN ACFT BECOMES AIRBORNE, AT ABOUT 50 FT, THE WIND SOCKS ARE THEN VISIBLE. NOT GOOD FOR MAKING DECISION ON WHICH RWY TO USE. THE WIND SHIFTS RAPIDLY AT TIMES AS IN RPTR'S SIT. THIS IS A STATE PARKS ARPT AND THIS IS THE 4TH ACCIDENT IN RECENT MONTHS AND 1 ACFT WAS TOTALLED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.