The Cessna 182Q pilot departed from a dirt airstrip in mountainous terrain earlier during the day, and was preparing to land at another mountain dirt airstrip near San Luis Obispo, Calif.
He reported that the wind was about 7 to 10 knots, and that he was flying a stabilized approach during the downwind, base, and final segments.
As he initiated the landing flare, the wind changed to a right crosswind, and the right wing lifted. He was unable to keep the airplane on the runway centerline, and it descended down an embankment into an adjacent creek.
The airplane came to rest nose down in the creek bed, sustaining substantial damage to the firewall and forward fuselage.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during the landing flare with a crosswind.
NTSB Identification: WPR15CA047
This November 2014 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.