This December 2008 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: Piper Cherokee Lance. Injuries: None. Location: Middletown, Del. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was on short final approach for landing on runway 35 when he experienced a sudden loss of airspeed and rapid increase in descent rate that was not altered by the application of power.
The airplane landed hard, all three landing gear collapsed, and the plane slid off the left side of the runway. The wing spar and engine firewall were substantially damaged. The pilot stated that he was flying from the right seat, which made referencing the instruments more difficult. The winds at an airport located 10 miles northeast of the accident airport were recorded as 280° at 17 knots, with gusts to 34 knots.
Probable cause: The failure to maintain control while landing in gusty conditions.
For more information: NTSB.gov