Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: 3 Serious. Location: Ridgely, Maryland. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: A CFI and two commercial pilots departed on a training flight to practice maneuvers in preparation for the commercial pilots’ CFI practical tests. The pilot receiving instruction entered the traffic pattern and configured the plane to perform a power-off approach and landing. While on final approach, the airspeed deteriorated and the airplane began to sink. The pilot applied full engine power to initiate a go-around, but the plane continued to sink and hit the ground short of the runway. The nearest weather facility reported about a 70° left crosswind at 22 knots, gusting to 27 knots.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for the wind during landing and delay in executing a go-around, which resulted in a loss of airspeed, low final approach, and subsequent collision with the ground short of the runway. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor’s inadequate surveillance and remedial action.
NTSB Identification: ERA11LA229
This April 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.