NTSB Identification: NYC08CA159.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 07, 2008 in Vero Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N9233X
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 solo student pilot of the PA-28 was practicing at his home airport when, just after touchdown, the airplane veered off the runway and encountered a ditch. The tower-controlled airport was configured with two parallel runways and one intersecting runway. About 41 minutes prior to the accident, the recorded winds were 020 degrees at 10 knots, and the tower was directing traffic to use runways 11R and 11L. During the first landing rollout, the pilot opted to perform a touch and go instead of a full stop, due to his concerns about the winds, and his ability to control the airplane on the ground. His second approach to the same runway resulted in a go-around, again due to the winds. On the third approach, the airplane bounced, veered off the left side of the runway, encountered a ditch, and stopped. The recorded winds 13 minutes after the accident were from 350 degrees at 13 knots, with gusts to 17 knots. Subsequent to the accident, the pilot stated that he was uncomfortable with the wind and runway combination, but that he lacked the confidence to challenge the tower's runway selection. Shortly after the accident, the control tower switched operations to the single runway to align traffic with the prevailing wind.

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

The student pilot's loss of directional control on landing. Contributing to the accident was the crosswind and wind gusts.

Full narrative available

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