Gusty crosswind bends Cessna

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

What reportedly happened: The pilot attempted to take off from the 3,227-foot runway with the wind from 180° at 13 knots gusting to 23 knots.

When the airplane was about 5 to 10 feet above the runway, it encountered a strong gust of wind and drifted left of centerline and descended back onto the runway.

The pilot steered the plane back to the centerline and attempted to abort the takeoff by applying full brakes and pulling the throttle back to idle.

There was not enough runway remaining to bring the aircraft to a full stop. It went off the end of the runway and continued down an embankment, across a road, and into a steep ditch.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during takeoff in a gusty crosswind, which resulted in a runway excursion.

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA361

This June 2012 accident report is are 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. Tom says

    Conveniently(?) they didn’t show the runway designation. Look it up yourself – it’s 9-27 which means the “gusty crosswind” was exactly 90 degrees to the runway. The gusts would have more than exceeded the published crosswind limitations for control of this aircraft, i.e. C-172.

    It would have been nice if the pilot had read,
    Over the operating hand book some time,
    And that day stayed home in his bed,
    You fill in here some word that will rhyme ______________.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *