Crosswind landing goes awry

This February 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Aircraft: Cessna 172.

Location: St. Louis, Mo.

Injuries: None.

Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land on a runway with snow banks on either side. There was a crosswind of 13 to 18 knots at the time of landing. Upon touchdown, the airplane began skidding to the left and the left wheel shook violently. The pilot applied right rudder in an effort to keep the airplane on the runway, but was not successful. The airplane went off the runway and into the snow. The propeller and left wing were damaged.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for the wind conditions and failure to maintain directional control. The gusting crosswind conditions and the snow covered ground were factors.

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