This June 2009 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: Mooney Acclaim. Injuries: None. Location: San Jose, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land in gusty winds. The plane landed hard and bounced back into the air. The pilot initiated a go-around, but the airplane didn’t have enough altitude to clear obstacles near the runway. The Mooney hit brush, a REIL light box, and taxiway light. The pilot was able to get back into the air. He did a flyby of the tower asking tower personnel to verify if his landing gear was down.
Tower personnel indicated that the landing gear did not appear to be down and suggested he should divert to an alternate airport that was better equipped for an emergency landing. The pilot performed a flyby at the alternate. Tower personnel at the alternate reported that the landing gear appeared down. During the landing the airplane’s landing gear collapsed and the airplane skidded to a stop.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper landing flare in gusting wind conditions resulting in a collision with an airport sign.
For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: WPR09LA302.