Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: West Palm Beach, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The flight instructor and student pilot were practicing touch-and-go landings on runway 31 in crosswind conditions. The student pilot’s landing was fine, but during the takeoff roll, the plane encountered a gust of wind and began to veer to the right.
The flight instructor took control of the airplane. The Cessna reached an altitude of about 10 feet above the runway when another wind gust caused it to roll over. The airplane came to rest on its back on the adjacent taxiway.
The flight instructor reported that were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.
The reported wind at the airport about the time of the accident was from 220° at 19 knots with 29-knot gusts. The pilot’s operating handbook indicates that operation in a direct crosswind of up to 15 knots has been demonstrated.
Probable cause: The flight instructor’s failure to maintain control during the takeoff in gusting crosswind conditions. Contributing to the accident was his decision to conduct takeoffs and landings in conditions exceeding the airplane’s maximum demonstrated crosswind capability.
NTSB Identification: ERA12CA419
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.