NTSB Identification: DFW07CA101.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 24, 2007 in Sierra Blanca, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Maule MXT-7-180, registration: N800CP
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 1,471-hour commercial pilot lost control of the single-engine airplane while attempting to abort a crosswind landing on a closed runway. The flight had originated from the accident location where the pilot arrived earlier in the day to pick-up an aerial observer. The flight was scheduled in support of a local sheriff department that has requested assistance in locating a stolen vehicle in a remote rural area. The search for the stolen vehicle was discontinued by the pilot after he became aware that a nearby airport had issued a high wind warning for the area. The mishap took place when the pilot elected to return to the airport to drop-off the observer. The pilot reported that he planned for a straight-in approach to runway 21. The closed airport was not equipped with a windsock; however, the pilot reported that he was aware that a strong right crosswind was present when he was established on final approach with the flaps extended to the 24-degree setting. The winds at the KELP airport at the time of the accident were reported from 270 degrees at 14 knots, gusting to 26 knots. The pilot added that soon after the right main landing gear tire touched down on the runway, a gust of wind attempted to roll the aircraft to the left and the pilot elected to apply full engine power to abort the landing. During the attempted aborted landing, the airplane collided with tall bushes lining both sides of the runway, continued through a fence, and finally came to rest on a pasture east of the runway. The right wing and the both horizontal stabilizers sustained structural damage. The pilot and the observer were not injured.

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

The loss of control as result of the pilot's failure to compensate for the existing wind conditions. A contributing factor was the crosswind.

Full narrative available

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