On March 29, 1998, at 1120 Eastern Standard Time, a Cessna 172P, N9821L, was substantially damaged during a crosswind landing to Runway 02 at Robertson Field Airport (4B8), Plainville, Connecticut. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that originated from Newport, Rhode Island, approximately 1025. No flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot: upon reaching 4B8, he did a "midfield fly over to establish the winds." The winds were determined to be a direct crosswind for runway 02/20. After entering the traffic pattern and positioning the airplane on final for Runway 02, he executed a go-around at 200 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) because of an excessive lateral drift. On his second attempt to land at 4B8, he established the airplane on final with 20 degrees of flaps, and 65 knots of airspeed. He "touched down OK," then the airplane started to float, approximately 3 feet above the runway. He let the airplane settle back onto the runway while applying full left aileron and full right ruder. The airplane then departed the runway with the nose "pointed slightly right of centerline." After exiting the runway, the airplane traveled down a 60-degree embankment, struck a chain link fence, then came to rest upright.

The pilot stated he encountered no mechanical problems with the airplane. The pilot's total flight experience was 158 hours, with 103 hours in Cessna 172Ps.

Winds at an airport approximately 10 miles to the southwest of 4B8 were reported, 270 degrees at 16 knots, gust to 21 knots.

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