FTW98LA036
FTW98LA036

On October 29, 1997, approximately 1035 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172F, N8714U, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during supervised solo flight at Hurley, New Mexico. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Hurley at 1030.

The instructor and student had been practicing windy landing approaches. The instructor got out of the airplane to allow the student to practice solo. According to the pilot's accident report, when he flared for landing on runway 26, a "violent wind" forced the airplane into a right bank and it drifted "slightly off" the runway centerline. The pilot attempted to level the wings and correct with opposite rudder, but the airplane contacted the ground with its right wing. The pilot added power but the airplane contacted the runway again in a nose down attitude. According to an FAA inspector, the instructor was in his automobile and was leaving the airport when he saw the airplane approaching. He stopped at the end of the runway and observed the accident.

The wind was reported to be from 290 degrees at 13 knots, gusting to 19 knots. According to the Wind Component Graph, a 30 degree right quartering headwind between 13 and 19 knots will result in crosswind and headwind components between 5 and 9 knots and 11 and 17 knots, respectively. According to the 1965 Cessna 172F Owner's Manual, "The maximum allowable crosswind velocity is dependent upon pilot capability rather than airplane limitations. With average pilot technique, direct crosswinds of 15 MPH can be handled with safety."

The nose landing gear was sheared off, the firewall and cowling were wrinkled, both wing tips were damaged, and the aft portion of the fuselage was buckled.

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