NTSB Identification: LAX01LA077.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 13, 2001 in Atwater, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/23/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-22-150, registration: N3854P
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During an instructional flight, the pilot handling the flight controls ground looped his airplane while landing on runway 31. Prior to the accident, the pilot had successfully performed a series of takeoffs and 3-point landings under the supervision of his flight instructor. However, a wind gust was encountered during the pilot's last landing. The pilot indicated that he was unable to maintain directional control, the airplane veered left, the right main landing gear collapsed, and the right wing contacted the runway surface and broke. The flight instructor indicated that, at the time, the wind was from the southwest at 10 knots, with 15-knot gusts. The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate and had about 5,000 hours of flight time, but only about 2 hours in his recently purchased tail wheel equipped airplane. The flight instructor, whom the pilot hired to check him out, had 3,469.7 hours of flight time. However, his flying experience in the accident airplane was 5 hours. Runway 31 is 11,802 feet long and 300 feet wide.

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

The student's failure to maintain directional control while landing in a crosswind, his improper compensation for wind conditions, and the flight instructor's inadequate flight supervision.

Full narrative available

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