On January 20, 1996, approximately 1100 mountain standard time, a Cessna 180, N6502A, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during takeoff at Buena Vista, Colorado. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The following is based on the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report. Prior to takeoff from runway 33, the pilot estimated the wind to be from 260 degrees at 8 to 10 knots. Although the initial takeoff roll was normal, the pilot was unable to maintain runway heading. The airplane went off the right side of the runway, cleared a drainage ditch, and impacted the opposite embankment. The pilot said after the accident he estimated the wind to be from 260 degrees at 20 knots (23 mph) with gusts to 25 knots (29 mph).

According to a Cessna Aircraft Company spokesman, the Cessna 180 Owner's Manual does not report a maximum demonstrated crosswind component. However, the airplane was certificated under CAR 3 (Civil Aviation Regulations) on December 23, 1952, and, according to the Technical Inspection Report (TIR), the airplane was flight tested in a 30 mph direct crosswind (0.2 Vso).

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