Crosswind bends Bonanza

Aircraft: Beech Bonanza Injuries: None. Location: Cheyenne, Wyo. Aircraft damage:

What reportedly happened: The pilot stated that he was landing with a 40° crosswind.

During the flare, when the airplane was about 5 feet above ground level, the airplane veered to the right. The pilot was unable to regain control of the airplane before it touched down and went off the runway, down an embankment, and into a fence.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for the crosswind, which resulted in a loss of directional control.

NTSB Identification: WPR12CA068

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. says

    I use the following trick on landing that helps prepare for this. On final, wiggle the rudders back an forth to remind your muscle memory how much rudder travel is required at approach airspeeds vs. cruise.

  2. Bluestar says

    When the wind veers it can and often requires quick action, wing down and into the wind quickly becomes the problem. You’ve gotta be on your game, and watch out for those ducks.

  3. bjs says

    Many very experienced pilots get caught by crosswinds. I’ve seen some of the most experienced fliers in the world, Mallard ducks, crash land due to winds!

    • Tom says

      The write-up shows only a 40 degree crosswind but neglects the all important wind speed and/or gusts. If the wind was only 10 knots then the cross wind component is only 6.5 knots whereas if the wind was 23 knots then the cross wind component is 15 knots and could likely have exceeded the capability of the aircraft no matter who the pilot is. The idea that “many very experienced pilots get caught by crosswinds” isn’t an excuse. Sorry about that. Pick another runway or airport and have enough fuel to get there and know what the winds are going to be before taxi – that’s what “experienced” pilots are supposed to do.

  4. Tom says

    That pesky old crosswind can get you,
    When your slow to react to the winds,
    But the real problem was likely sleep apnea,
    A new bane from our FAA “friends”.

    Our techniques aren’t really the issue,
    It’s public image among all their fears,
    The 3rd class medical is what drives them,
    A plague on us every two years.

    • Greg W says

      Accident date of 2011, so you are undoubtedly correct, the insidious undiagnosed sleep apnea. Practically no doubt at all that the unfortunate pilot was “asleep” in the flare. Seriously though glad there was no injury, even 10 kts. can be a problem with enough angle so keep that wing down, and fly it to the ground.

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