NTSB Identification: IAD99LA037.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 06, 1999 in ZELIENOPLE, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N8133H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot said he checked the weather and the local winds before departing to practice some 'crosswind flying.' The pilot stated that when the airplane climbed above the trees at the departure end of runway 35, 'I realized I had made a mistake...' The pilot returned for landing on runway 35. The airplane touched down, departed the right side of the runway, and struck a clump of small trees. Winds reported at the time of the accident were from 270 degrees at 20 knots gusting to 40 knots. The demonstrated crosswind component for the airplane, and placarded on the dash panel, was 17 knots. The pilot reported he was unaware of the limitation prior to the accident. The pilot reported 260 hours of total flight experience, 36 hours of which was in make and model.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning to practice crosswind landings in wind that exceeded the airplane's demonstrated capability and his failure to maintain directional control. A factor in the accident was the high wind.

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