NTSB Identification: LAX07CA169.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 12, 2007 in St. George, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N5285H
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.
The airplane veered off of runway 16 and ground looped during the landing roll in strong crosswind conditions. The pilot stated in a written report that he checked the AWOS as he approached the airport and noted a direct crosswind of higher velocity than made him comfortable. He continued to circle north of the airport until he observed the winds drop to 19 knots. He decided to enter the pattern for runway 16 and perform a go-around to, "feel the winds." After a successful go-around, he elected to come around the pattern again and attempt a landing. The pilot said, "I set a little crab on final the second time around and executed a very smooth descent, flare and landing. Between five hundred feet and one thousand feet after touchdown, the airplane started to turn right, and I couldn't apply enough left rudder to stop it." The airplane departed the runway and the propeller struck a taxiway light and the left wing tip made contact with the ground. The airplane came to rest 30 feet beyond the runway edge. At 1555, the airport's AWOS reported winds of 250 degrees at 21 knots, gusting to 27 knots. The Pilot's Operating Handbook for a 1976 Cessna 172M states that, "The maximum allowable crosswind velocity is dependent on pilot capability as well as aircraft limitations. With average pilot technique, direct crosswinds of 15 knots can be handled with safety." The pilot stated that the airplane and engine had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's inadequate compensation for a gusting crosswind and his failure to maintain directional control. Full narrative available
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