Crosswind on go-around catches Piper

This September 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: Piper Pacer. Injuries: None. Location: Akhiok, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land on an abandoned gravel airstrip. He flew over the runway at an altitude of about 15 feet and decided the conditions were not right for landing due to a crosswind. As he applied power for a go-around, a gust of wind from the right caught the airplane. The Pacer rolled to the left and the pilot could not counteract the roll. The airplane came down hard. The pilot said he had not realized how the topography around the strip influenced the crosswind, and how fast the weather conditions were changing.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control while maneuvering at a low altitude.

For more information: NTSB Identification: ANC10CA082

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