NTSB Identification: WPR09CA256
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 21, 2009 in Healdsburg, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: Westerhout/Gagnier Escapade, registration: N29DY
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 pilot said he had completed an uneventful flight earlier in the day. On the accident flight, he performed an engine run-up, which included a magneto check with no mechanical anomalies encountered. He taxied to the active runway (runway 13), and noted the winds were light about 5 knots from the south. The takeoff roll was normal, and they lifted off at 50 mph. After rotation, the airplane started a left bank for no apparent reason. The pilot did not pull back on the control stick; however, he attempted to align the airplane with the runway. He noted that the airplane did not respond to his roll input and continued in the left bank. The pilot also stated that the airplane had started a slight climb just prior to impacting the vineyard. After the initial contact with the vineyard, the airplane became airborne again and then dropped back into the vineyard. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane and he believes that the winds may have shifted to more of a south wind at the time of the loss of control event. Reported winds at the time were from 140 degrees at 5 knots.

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

The pilot's inadequate compensation for the crosswind condition and failure to maintain directional/lateral control during the initial climb.

Full narrative available

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