NTSB Identification: LAX02LA199.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 15, 2002 in Saint Johns, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N64307
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 airplane veered off the runway while attempting to land, and encountered soft soil, which damaged several structural elements. The pilot reported that he attempted to land on runway 21, but opted to perform a go-around because he could not obtain proper runway alignment. The Automated Surface Observation System and a fixed base operator attendant reported a shift in winds, and the pilot elected to land on runway 32. He configured the airplane with 5 degrees of flaps and prepared for landing. During approach, about 5 to 6 feet above ground level, the airplane experienced a loss of altitude and yawed to the left. During touchdown, the airplane veered off the left side of the runway. The pilot maneuvered the airplane back onto the runway and attempted to gain airspeed, in an effort to takeoff. The airplane veered off the right side of the runway and he reduced the power to idle. The airplane continued down a dirt hill, and came to rest after the nose wheel dug into soft terrain. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. Winds at the airport were reportedly blowing from 250 degrees at 20 knots, with gusts up to 26 knots.

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

the pilot's inadequate compensation for wind conditions resulting in a loss of directional control and collision with terrain. Related factors were the wind gusts, crosswind and soft terrain.

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