Tailwind approach leads to crash

Aircraft: Quicksilver MX Sprint II Injuries: None. Location: Willits, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: It was the student pilot’s first solo flight in the airplane.

He was attempting to land on a private dirt strip when the airplane encountered a tailwind, which caused the airplane to lose altitude and crash into trees some 20 feet short of the dirt strip.

Probable cause: The student pilot did not maintain an adequate approach/glide path and altitude, which resulted in a runway undershoot and subsequent collision with trees. Contributing to the accident was the student pilot’s lack of flight experience.

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA126

This March 2012 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.

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