On August 8, 1997, at 1145 central daylight time (cdt), a Piper PA-28-121, N2228Z, operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when on landing, the airplane departed the runway and struck two trees. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. There was no flight plan on file. The pilot reported no injuries. The cross-country flight originated at Redwood Falls, Minnesota, at 1030 cdt.

In his written statement, the pilot said that he overflew Glencoe Airport, Minnesota, at 2,400 feet to obtain wind direction. At the same time, the pilot said he was monitoring Litchfield, Minnesota, and Hutchison, Minnesota, Aviation Weather Observation Station (AWOS) for wind information. The pilot entered right downwind traffic for runway 13 (3,000 feet by 75 feet). On his first attempt to land, the pilot said that as he came across the runway threshold, he could not keep the airplane aligned on the runway. The pilot performed a go-around and climbed back to traffic pattern altitude. "I did an extended downwind to give me more time to align with the runway on final. I touched down slightly past the runway number markings. I then became airborne again and did not have enough wind correction. A heavy crosswind pushed me off the left side of the runway which was a grassy area with standing water." As the pilot was trying to stop the airplane, the airplane's left wing struck a pine tree, turning the airplane 90-degrees from its heading. The airplane impacted into a small grove of pine trees and came to a stop.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the airplane found the airplane's left wing separated at the wing root. The left wing main spar was bent rearward. The right wing was crushed inward at the leading edge aft to the spar. The right side of the airplane's fuselage showed numerous skin wrinkles. The remainder of the airplane showed minor damage. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies were found with the engine, engine controls or other airplane systems.

The 1135 cdt Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) at Hutchison, Minnesota, 15 miles west-northwest of Glencoe, reported winds at 170-degrees magnetic at 10 knots. The 1135 cdt METAR at Litchfield, Minnesota, 30 miles northwest of Glencoe, reported winds at 170-degrees magnetic at 6 knots with gusts to 14 knots.

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