Wind gust catches taildragger

Aircraft: Cessna 180. Injuries: None. Location: Helena, Mont. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The accident happened during a training flight. During the first part of the flight, the pilot receiving instruction made four takeoffs and landings on a runway that was almost directly aligned with the oncoming wind.

The CFI then took over and diverted to another runway to demonstrate a landing with a 90° crosswind of about 10 to 12 knots. The CFI made a successful touchdown on the main landing gear wheels, but as the airplane slowed and he began to lower the tail, the upwind wing was lifted by a gust of wind. The airplane went off the right side of the runway.

Probable cause: The CFI’s loss of airplane control during the landing roll in a gusting crosswind.

NTSB Identification: WPR11CA109

This January 2011 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.


  1. Vaughn S. Price says

    Interesting how some instructors are so into wheel landings! If an airplane stalls just before a one wing low ( cross wind) landing, the chance of a gust effecting you on roll out are minimal,
    However if at all possible in gusty conditions, I always advised my students to land across the runway into the wind. By the book can lead to unforeseen results. and instructors should not ever stop learning

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