NTSB Identification: NYC02LA080.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 02, 2002 in Belmar, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-151, registration: N44636
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.

After completing several solo cross-country flights during the day, the student pilot was preparing to land at his home airport. During the student's first landing attempt, he executed a go-around because he did not like his ground track, and felt that an airplane following him in the traffic pattern was too close. On the student's second attempt, he turned base leg and then final. On final, he configured the airplane with full flaps, slowed to approximately 65 knots of airspeed, and crabbed the airplane into the wind. On short final, the pilot applied left rudder to align the airplane with runway 14. When he flared the airplane, it floated for a moment before touching down on the centerline, about 500 feet from the approach end. Shortly afterwards, the airplane drifted off the centerline to the left, and exited the runway. The winds recorded at the airport were from 180 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 18 knots.

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

The student pilot's failure to maintain runway alignment during landing. A factor in the accident was the winds.

Full narrative available

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