This August 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Cessna 195.
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, the landing approach to runway 27R was normal. He asked the local controller for the winds and was told they were from 260° at 7 knots with no reported wind gusts. The pilot flared the airplane for a touchdown in “a three point landing attitude.” As expected, he heard the stall warning horn go off, felt the tail wheel begin to touch the runway and was expecting the main gear wheels to touch when he felt the airplane quickly balloon up then come down hard.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for a wind gust that ballooned the airplane during the landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing. The wind gust was a factor.