On Monday, October 14th, at about noon, with winds 30mph gusting to over 40mph, a Cessna 175 aborted a landing attempt on runway 22.  During the go-around climbout, at about 150' agl, the aircraft apparently encountered enough turbulence to cause it to enter a steep right bank and a descending 270 degree turn. 

The aircraft  ended up skimming the bean field directly to the west of the south airport exit on an easterly course; it passed underneath the powerlines along the west side of Manning Ave, but clipped two power poles, one on each side of Manning Ave, losing most of both wings in the process.  The fuselage impacted the side of a hangar at about shoulder level, punctured through the hangar, and came to rest inside, among  two hangared Cessnas, causing some damage to the hangared aircraft.

Amazingly, the pilot suffered only minor injuries, mainly facial lacerations, and no broken bones.  This was a high speed violent impact which the pilot survived only because the impact was low angle with most of the energy  absorbed incrementally by the power poles and hangar wall. 

Following are photos taken by Bob Waldron, and text from an article in the 10/15 Pioneer Press.


Posted on Tue, Oct. 15, 2002  
LAKE ELMO: Pilot walks away from crash landing

Pioneer Press

Wind gusts up to 38 mph barreled across the metro area Monday, and one of them grabbed hold of David Goddard's red Cessna 175 and flew it like a child flies his first kite as Goddard was trying to land at the Lake Elmo Airport.

"I hit the wind shear," Goddard said. "It flipped the plane. I pulled the power and tried to get control of it. I couldn't do it."

The little red plane skimmed through a bean field, rammed power line poles and plowed through the back wall of a hangar at the Lake Elmo Airport sideways, with one wingtip pointing down and the other gesturing toward the overcast sky, the Washington County sheriff said.

Goddard, 54, was flying into Lake Elmo Airport around noon, making a quick hop from his home near Milwaukee to a meeting in Bloomington. Instead, he found himself surrounded by the wreckage of his beloved plane and snarled up in two other Cessnas that had been parked in the hangar. The ripped metal hangar walls fluttered and squeaked in the wind. An office chair rested catawampus on a plane wing several feet off the ground.

Goddard smelled fuel and clambered out of the hangar as quickly as he could. A man and woman in the area saw the accident and hurried to help Goddard, said Sheriff Jim Frank. When authorities arrived, they found Goddard sitting outside the hangar. He was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where his facial cuts were stitched.

He didn't even break a bone, his wife, Vonna Goddard said Monday afternoon, as she drove from Milwaukee to lay her eyes on the husband she could easily have lost.

"Obviously we're ecstatic that it wasn't more serious than that," she said.

Goddard's plane "is just bent metal now," he said. "It held together enough to keep me alive. I'm very lucky."

No damage estimates were available Monday. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. Its ruling on the accident could determine whether Goddard, an enthusiastic pilot, will keep flying.

"That's his passion in life," Vonna Goddard said.

Alvina Schmidt of Afton reached her privately owned hangar at the Lake Elmo Airport around 1 p.m. She peeked through the rip in the wall and shook her head at her two battered Cessnas, which broke the landing for Goddard's plane.

She turned her back to the relentless wind and said, with real concern, "I hope he has insurance."

She might have been reassured if she had known about the business meeting Goddard missed on Monday.

"He's an insurance agent," Vonna Goddard said.

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