NTSB Identification: LAX04LA131.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 13, 2004 in Mesa, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 185F, registration: N4836Q
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.

The airplane ground looped during landing and swerved off the runway. During the landing rollout while practicing touch-and-go takeoffs and landings, the pilot looked down to set the trim. When he looked up, the airplane was turning right, and the left wing tip was almost touching the ground. The airplane then veered off the runway, and the left wing impacted the ground. The pilot reported that no mechanical problems were experienced with the airplane. The pilot's total flying experience was about 265 hours, with the majority of the flight time in conventional gear airplanes. He had approximately 7 hours of flight time in this make and model of airplane, accumulating 2 hours of flight time in the last thirty days. To prevent similar accidents, the pilot recommended "not looking down, and flying the airplane until it stops." About the time of the accident, the 90-degree right crosswind component was approximately 8 knots.

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

the pilot's inadequate compensation for the crosswind and his failure to maintain directional control, which resulted in an inadvertent ground loop. A factor in this accident was the pilot's diverted attention.

Full narrative available

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