NTSB Identification: LAX98LA307.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 26, 1998 in MERCED, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N9085J
Injuries: 2 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 purpose of the flight was to attend an airshow at the accident airport. The pilot filed an IFR flight plan and conducted a preflight inspection, including an engine run-up with no discrepancies noted. The accident airport had issued a NOTAM concerning takeoff and landing procedures on the 11,802-foot-long runway. Aircraft would be taking off and landing approximately 3,000 feet apart in three different locations identified with different colored dots. The NOTAM further stated that there would be an increase in traffic volume and the tower was a temporary tower. The pilot had been cleared to land on the orange dot. The pilot complied with this request and was once again instructed to extend his final approach to the green dot. Prior to touchdown the pilot had to correct for a left crosswind. He reported that the wind decreased in velocity and the airplane sink rate increased. He advanced the throttle, and was caught by a gust of wind on the left side. He added additional power and corrected for the crosswind condition with opposite aileron and rudder inputs, but the controls were ineffective. The aircraft collided with the runway and collapsed the landing gear. Witnesses to the accident stated that a crosswind condition existed at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's improper flare and his failure to adequately compensate for the existing crosswind conditions and maintain airplane control during landing.

Full narrative available

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