This December 2008 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.
Aircraft: Grumman Traveler. Injuries: None. Location: Brunswick, Ga. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The wind at the time of the accident was 40° to the right of the airplane’s nose at 12 knots, gusting to 20 knots. While landing, the pilot approached the runway in a crab and with the right wing down, into the wind. A strong gust of wind pushed the right wing toward the ground as the main gear touched down in a nose-up attitude. The airplane became airborne and the pilot decided to initiate a go-around. He applied full power. As the airplane gained altitude, another gust of wind rolled the plane to the right. The pilot applied full ailerons and rudder authority to level the wings, then realized the plane was headed towards trees that it wouldn’t be able to clear. The pilot then pulled the throttle to idle and flared the airplane into a stall as it descended into the trees.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during the landing flare. Contributing to the accident were the gusting winds.
For more information: NTSB.gov