NTSB Identification: WPR11LA175
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 21, 2011 in Spanish Fork, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/20/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N739DG
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot reported that, after he completed his preflight inspection, he delayed his departure because of reported high wind conditions at his planned destination airport located 5 nautical miles (nm) away. The nearest weather reporting facility was located at that airport, and the wind reported about 32 minutes before the accident was southwesterly at 16 knots, gusting to 26 knots. Shortly thereafter, the pilot noted that the wind was down the runway so he decided to depart for local takeoff-and-landing practice. During his first landing, the airplane bounced and the pilot said that he encountered a “microburst or intense wind.” The pilot lost control of the airplane and it departed the left side of the runway. The airplane cartwheeled several times and impacted an airport perimeter fence. About 28 minutes after the accident, the wind at the airport 5 nm away increased to 22 knots, gusting to 40 knots. Two witnesses reported a high, gusting wind at the accident airport and estimated it to be 40 to 50 knots from the southwest at the time of the accident. The pilot was landing to the southeast, and it is likely that the pilot encountered a gusting crosswind. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane.

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

The student pilot's inadequate compensation for the gusting wind, which resulted in a loss of airplane control during landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to depart with a high gusting wind.

Full narrative available

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