NTSB Identification: DEN01LA054.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 18, 2001 in Angel Fire, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300, registration: N3051U
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.
As the airplane approached runway 35, the pilot applied "full cross control" for the crosswind that the airport reported to be from 260 degrees at 20 knots and gusting. Wind gusts were reportedly between 24 and 30 knots. When the airplane touched down 4,500 feet past the threshold, "a strong gust of wind" pushed the airplane to the right side of the runway and the pilot aborted the landing. During the abort, the nose landing gear was damaged when it struck a 24-inch high snow bank at the 5,900-foot mark. Witnesses said the airplane nearly "cartwheeled." The pilot turned the airplane around and landed on runway 17. The airplane touched down at the 6,150-foot mark and skidded on its nose to a halt at the 7,100-foot mark (8,900 foot runway). The airplane's demonstrated crosswind component is 17 knots. The computed crosswind component was 90 degrees at 20 knots, 24 knots, or 30 knots, depending on the reported wind velocity used.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during landing. Contributing factors were the crosswind, the pilot exceeding the published maximum demonstrated crosswind component, and the snow bank. Full narrative available
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