Wrong runway for Cessna

Aircraft: Cessna 182. Injuries: None. Location: St. Paul, Minn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The tower controller informed the pilot that the wind was from 230°. The pilot had the option of landing on runway 27 or runway 14, and chose runway 14, which gave the airplane a quartering tailwind.

The pilot said the visual approach was stabilized as he approached the runway, however, the plane encountered a gust of wind during the landing flare and it landed hard on its nose.

Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the firewall was bent.

The pilot reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure of the airplane. Five minutes after the accident, the reported surface wind was 240° at 19 knots gusting to 26 knots.

Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to land on a runway with a gusting, quartering tailwind and his inadequate compensation for the wind, which resulted in a hard landing.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA113

This December 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. t hugh walton says

    Would’nt the quartering tailwind have been on rwy 32 as opposed to rwy 14 (14-32) as the wind was from 230?

  2. David Miller says

    I was part owner along with 20 other guys in this aircraft. 20 guys out of a 100 member club. The pilot sad to say only had a handful of hrs in a 182. I guess being a board members brother will get you some sway. The aircraft was totaled. The nose gear bent almost all the way forward. Luckily no one of his family was hurt. He should have never been flying that plane with that few of hrs in it.

  3. vaughn price says

    I hate to be a Nag, but this pilot was under taught about choosing to purposely land down wind. I blame his initial Flight Instructor for not pounding it in his head to if there is a choice land into the wind. If there is no choice your skill level aught to be very high, or go to another airport. Basic safety Thought. “You really don’t have to get to your destination at all costs.

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