Crosswind brings down 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 Archer. Injuries: None. Location: Montauk, N.Y. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: As he approached the airport, the pilot requested airport advisories over the UNICOM frequency. He was advised that traffic was landing on runway 24, and the wind was reported at 310° at 9 knots. This would give aircraft landing on runway 24 a crosswind component of 70°.

During the first approach the pilot believed he was too high and executed a go-around. He made a second attempt and this time encountered wind-shear. The airplane stalled and went off the left side of the runway into trees.

Investigators determined that the wind at the airport near the time of the accident was from 290° at 10 knots, gusting to 18 knots, resulting in a 50° crosswind component.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for crosswind conditions which resulted in a hard landing and loss of directional control.

For more information: NTSB Identification: ERA10CA473

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