Gusting winds get Waco

This June 2010 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: Waco UKC-S. Injuries: None. Location: Seattle. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot planned to land on runway 31L. The airport ATIS indicated that the wind was from 40° at 11 knots, gusting to 15 knots. The maximum crosswind component for the airplane is 15 knots.

The pilot had experience landing the airplane in similar crosswind conditions. Throughout the traffic pattern he requested the wind direction and speed from the controller.

On short final, the wind was reported from 030° at 11 knots. The landing was uneventful, but during the landing roll a gust of wind lifted the right wing and, despite the pilot’s control inputs, the left wing scraped the ground as the airplane ground looped. The left main landing gear collapsed.

The weather reporting station located at the accident airport reported the wind at the time of the accident was from 030°at 8 knots gusting to 17 knots.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for the crosswind condition, resulting in a loss of directional control during the landing roll.

For more information: NTSB Identification: WPR10CA290


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  1. Dennis Reiley says

    What a crock! Once the pilot touched down and the aircraft speed dropped during the landing roll his ability to correct for gusting winds was at best limited, at worst non-existent.

    The cause of the accident was winds gusting above what was predicted.

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