NTSB Identification: CEN14LA245
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 19, 2014 in Yuma, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/05/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-181, registration: N9631C
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot reported that after referencing the airport windsock, which indicated a variable and gusty wind condition, he decided to takeoff on runway 16. The airplane was on takeoff roll when, before achieving liftoff, it encountered a wind gust that raised the right wing. The pilot was unable to correct for the wind gust before the airplane departed the left side of the runway and impacted a drainage ditch. He reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. A review of wind data readings, taken during the hour before the accident, established that the wind direction and speed had been from the north at 13-15 knots with recorded wind gusts between 20-26 knots. Additionally, the wind speed had increased throughout the same time period. The use of runway 16 would have resulted in a tailwind condition and an increased ground speed required to achieve a normal liftoff. The higher ground speed likely contributed to the pilot's inability to maintain directional control after the airplane encountered the wind gust.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control after the airplane encountered a wind gust during takeoff roll. Contributing to the accident was the pilot inadvertently using a runway that resulted in a gusty tailwind condition.

Full narrative available

Index for May2014 | Index of months