Crosswind catches Cessna

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Ozark, Mo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot made two approaches to the north runway, but each attempt resulted in a go-around because he was unable to maintain runway alignment due to a strong crosswind.

He decided to make the next approach to the south. While on final approach, the airplane suddenly lost altitude, and came down hard short of the runway, then nosed over.

The pilot reported that there were no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded the normal operation of the airplane.

A witness at the airport reported that the wind was out of the west at 16 knots. A review of nearby weather stations indicated that the wind was variable from the south-to-northwest between five and nine knots, gusting to 16 knots.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for gusty crosswind conditions while on approach.

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA022

This October 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. Gerhard Opel says

    Anyone interested in optimal gusty cross wind training should visit Maui and invest in a few hours with one of Maui Aviators top notch CFIs . (
    Normal operations are typically : winds 18 KTS gusting to 30 from 40 deg to 50 deg for RWY 2 at Kahului.
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  2. Robert Cone says

    Same old story, give the pilot the choice of a bi-annual FAA physical or a couple of hours of annual dual instruction for a refresher on such things as stalls, turns and cross wind landings. I suspect virtually all private pilots will accept the dual instruction and had this been the case, another accident would have been prevented. The final result, a safer and lower cost GA community; a win-win situation. The medical certification, again, was of zero value.

    • says

      In 2009/2010, I performed several Private bi-annuals. Frankly. if they were going for a Private flight test, ALL would have failed! ANY pilot, regardless of certificate/rating, that fly’s LESS that 30 hours annually, should be subject to a more stringent review; 1. LESS than 30 hours – 3 hours of “dual” (flight) and 3 ground, as part of the bi-annual. 2. emphasis should be placed on short field landing, steep turns and power (simulated) loss emergencies at LOW altitude. If they do well on these (past muster), chances are they’ll be satisfactory on all other basic maneuvers.

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