NTSB Identification: FTW98LA395.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 13, 1998 in MIMBRES, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Maule M-5-235C, registration: N9218E
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

According to the pilot's accident report, he departed a grass airstrip (3,000 feet x 300 feet, dirt), en route to El Paso, Texas. He climbed to 200 feet, maneuvered to the left side of a valley, then made a climbing right turn to head south and through the valley. He encountered 'a hard crosswind from the left,' and he 'turned into the downwind side of this crosswind.' The airplane lost altitude and 'barely' struck the ground. The landing gear collapsed, and the airplane slid 80 feet before colliding with a log-loading machine. The computed density altitude at Deming, New Mexico (elevation 4,312 feet msl), located 44 miles southeast of the accident site, was 7,349 feet msl. The pilot said the elevation of the accident site was 6,200 feet msl. The approximate density altitude at the accident site was computed to be 9,628 feet msl.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering. Factors were a low altitude turn into a crosswind and a high density altitude.

Full narrative available

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