Aircraft: Piper Pacer. Injuries: None. Location: Fairbanks, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land on a hard surfaced runway. When the airplane was about 6 inches above the runway, a gust of wind lifted the right wing, the left main landing gear touched down hard, and the airplane veered to the left. The pilot was unable regain control, and the airplane ground looped to the left.
The pilot stated that the accident could have been prevented had a go-around decision been made at the initial recognition of the wind gust.
Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of directional control during landing. Contributing to the accident was his decision not to initiate a go-around.
NTSB Identification: ANC12CA030
This April 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.