NTSB Identification: CHI06CA103.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 02, 2006 in Grayslake, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-301, registration: N8290X
Injuries: 2 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.

The single-engine airplane veered off the left side of runway 9 (3,270 feet by 40 feet, asphalt) during landing and sustained substantial damage. The winds 11 miles from the accident airport were 120 degrees at 11 knots gusting to 21 knots. The pilot reported that he flew a Global Positioning System (GPS) approach and cancelled his instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan when he had the airport in sight. He entered a left downwind for landing on runway 9 and confirmed a right crosswind condition by observing the windsock. The airspeed was 90 knots with a right "crab" on final approach to landing. The pilot reported, "Prior to touchdown the wind calmed to the point that the crab was not needed." He reported the airplane touched down on the centerline of the dry runway. He reported, "Almost immediately after touchdown, the plane started moving left." He reacted by putting in full right aileron and applying right rudder, but he did not apply any pressure to the toe brakes. The airplane veered off the left side of the runway. The airplane encountered soft terrain, spun around, and impacted a ditch. The inspection of the airplane revealed that the wheels spun freely when turned and the brakes did not stick. The tires had no flat spots. The inspection of the runway revealed that there was no long skid mark on the runway, but there were black skid marks about 2 feet in length that were about 20 feet apart. There was no indication of braking when the airplane came in contact with the grass.

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

The pilot failed to compensate adequately for the crosswind condition and failed to maintain directional control during the landing roll. Contributing factors included the crosswind, the narrow runway, soft ground, and the ditch.

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