October 8, 1994

Yolo County Airport, Davis CA

After a short, pleasant trip from Palo Alto I arrived rather abruptly at Yolo County airport.  While on short final I was a slightly concerned in that I was touching down a bit faster than I normally do.  I attributed it to having a slight tail wind and continued my approach.  I then noticed that I was sinking a bit lower than I normally do.  About when that thought went through my mind, the prop started to chew up the pavement and all sorts of grinding noises started to come from the underside of the plane.  I then realized that I had failed to put the gear down and loud invectives started to drowned out the grinding noises.  The plane slid almost directly down the center line, skewing about 70 degrees to the right as it came to a stop.

I very carefully shut everthing down and exited the plane.  There was no fuel leakage anywhere.  Grabbing my handheld radio on my way out, I made calls to let the aircraft in the pattern (mostly Twin Otters hauling sky divers) what I had done.  As I did my deed in the first couple of hundred feet, they were able to safely land long over the top of me.

It was an interesting experiance getting the plane off of the runway.  There was significant skydiving going on that day and I had basically shut down the whole operation.  In order to quickly reopen the airport, the skydiving operation drove down to where I was with two van loads of burly skydivers.  As I was fairly light on fuel,  they were able to physically *lift* the plane and *carry* it into the grass.

The damage to the plane was

The damage to the pilot was: Despite the financial folly of it (fighting the insurance company was a tale too painful to tell), I decided I had to put N494B back into the air one way or another.  I don't think that I could look myself in the mirror if I didn't  resurrect it.
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