NTSB Identification: WPR12LA076
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 06, 2012 in Phoenix, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N4175V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 6, 2012, about 1548 mountain standard time, a Piper PA28-181, N4175V, was substantially damaged during landing when it veered off runway 25L at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona. The student pilot was not injured. The instructional flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed and activated for the flight.

The airplane was operated by TransPac Aviation Academy, and was based at DVT. According to the pilot, the flight was a solo cross-country flight, which was to go from DVT to Gila Bend Municipal Airport (E63), then to Wickenburg Municipal Airport (E25), and then back to DVT. The pilot stated that during the landing rollout on runway 4 at E63, the airplane pulled to the right, but he did not experience a runway excursion. After slowing, the pilot exited the runway, and the airplane taxied normally. The pilot shut down the engine and briefly examined the airplane, but did not observe any anomalies. He re-boarded, re-started, taxied for takeoff, and departed; the airplane again performed normally. Upon arrival at E25, the pilot made a low approach, and then proceeded to go around without landing, since he was uncomfortable from his landing experience at E63. He circled the airport a few times, and then departed for DVT, without another approach or landing attempt. The pilot said that his landing at DVT was normal, but that once the nose gear touched down, the airplane veered right, and departed the runway. The airplane struck a runway distance sign, and then a berm. The nose landing gear, right main landing gear, and the right wing sustained significant damage.

According to the operator's flight safety manager, the airplane had accumulated about 10,400 hours total time in service, and about 50 hours in service since its most recent inspection. The pilot had a total flight experience of about 66 hours, all of which was in the accident airplane make and model. He had about 8 hours of solo flight time, and the accident flight was not his first solo cross-country flight. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in October 2011.

FAA information indicated that E63 runway 4 measured 5,200 feet long by 75 feet wide, and that DVT runway 25L measured 8,197 feet long by 100 feet wide.

Recorded wind information at an airport about 5 miles south-southwest of E63 indicated that the wind speed gradually decreased from 7 to 2 mph between the period from 1300 to 1500; at all those times the wind direction was "variable." The DVT 1553 automated weather observation included calm winds; visibility 10 miles, clear skies; temperature 21 degrees C; dew point -3 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury.

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