NTSB Identification: SEA02LA181.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 26, 2002 in Shaw Island, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/08/2003
Aircraft: Cessna R172K, registration: N736PJ
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot, who operates in and out of the private airstrip on a regular basis, tried to get the aircraft on the ground before reaching a point where there is an opening in the trees, in order not to be effected by the crosswinds that were blowing. Because his approach was inadvertently higher than he had planned, the aircraft was still in the air when it reached the opening, and a very strong crosswind gust hit the aircraft from the left. Upon encountering the gust, the aircraft's left wing rose upward and the aircraft started to drift off to the right side of the runway. Although the pilot attempted to realign the aircraft with the runway, he was unable to do so before a second gust lifted the wing even higher. As he was trying to compensate for the effects of the wind gusts, the aircraft drifted further to the right and impacted coniferous trees growing just off the right side of the airstrip.

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

The pilot's failure to adequately compensate for ambient wind conditions. Factors include the pilot's misjudgment of distance/altitude, gusting crosswinds, and trees growing near the edge of the airstrip.

Full narrative available

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