NTSB Identification: LAX97LA236.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 09, 1997 in SUSANVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1997
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-5B, registration: N28299
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 flew over the airport to checked the wind, which he said favored Runway 16. He noted there was a little ripple on a lake adjacent to the runway, but no waves or white caps. He determined that the wind was probably 170 to 180 degrees at 6 to 7 knots, with the windsock about 1/2 way out. The landing approach was normal. During the landing flare, a gust of wind caused the right wing to rise unexpectedly to approximately a 45-degree angle, almost forcing the left wing on to the runway surface. The pilot reported that he attempted to go around; however, the wind was blowing the aircraft to the left, and the aircraft was 'behind the power curve.' The pilot also stated that 'I think I touched [down] but am not sure.' The aircraft ultimately crashed through a barbed wire perimeter fence before coming to rest in a lake. Rescue personnel reported that near the time the accident, the winds were 'kicking from the west' with short gusts of approximately 20 to 30 mph. Also, they noted that in the general area of the accident, 'gusts come out of nowhere on a moments notice.' Density altitude was computed to be 8,000 feet msl.

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

the pilot's inadvertent encounter with unfavorable weather conditions during the landing, and his failure to maintain runway alignment. The sudden onset of crosswind gusts beyond the capability of the aircraft was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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