NTSB Identification: SEA04LA067.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 10, 2004 in Hardin, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2004
Aircraft: Champion 7ECA, registration: N5235X
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 pilot reported that he determined the wind to be approximately 30 degrees from the right at 10 to 12 knots and favoring runway 22, but on final approach he noticed the wind was stronger and nearly 90 degrees from the right. The pilot then elected to land on a grass area adjacent to runway 22, which was approximately 1,000 feet long and into the wind. On his final approach to the grass strip the pilot noticed a fence bordering the end of the runway, resulting in an approach a little higher and faster than normal. After touching down and determining he would not be able to stop before the end of the runway, the pilot aborted the landing. During the aborted landing the airplane's left wing impacted a tree, spinning it 180 degrees to the left before falling to the ground in an upright position. A weather observation taken about 10 minutes prior to the accident from an airport located 38 nautical miles west of the accident airport revealed in part that the wind was from 310 degrees at 17 knots with gusts to 24 knots. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the aircraft prior to the flight.

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

The pilot's failure to perform a go-around. Contributing factors were the pilot's misjudgment of speed and distance and the tree.

Full narrative available

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