NTSB Identification: LAX05CA302.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 18, 2005 in Show Low, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 172S, registration: N121CW
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During landing, the airplane's tail impacted the ground and resulted in substantial damage to the base of the rudder and the right elevator. The pilot obtained the weather information from an airport located about 12 nautical miles southeast of the accident airport. The winds were reported from 130 degrees at 15 knots, gusting to 18 knots. After an attempted landing for runway 03, the pilot performed a go-around and entered the landing pattern for runway 06. The pilot said he thought the windsock indicated favorable winds for landing runway 06. The approach to land was normal and the pilot flared the airplane, touching down on the right main gear first, and then the airplane bounced. The pilot said the airplane was suddenly pushed aside, to the north end of the runway and the tail section impacted the ground. The airplane settled to the ground momentarily before the pilot was able to perform the go-around and land uneventfully on runway 24. Post accident examination revealed that the right elevator was jammed. No mechanical malfunctions were noted with the airplane prior to the accident. An automated weather observation system (AWOS) for Show Low reported the following weather information 10 minutes following the accident: wind from 230 degrees at 20 knots, gusting to 26 knots. Ten minutes prior to the accident, the winds were reported from 200 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 22 knots.

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

the pilot's selection of a downwind runway for landing and his inadequate compensation for the strong and gusty quartering tail wind conditions, which resulted in a tail strike during landing.

Full narrative available

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