On Saturday, September 11, 1993, at 0940 eastern daylight time, N5347J, a Cessna 172N, owned by Reichard Aviation Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia, and piloted by Michael Payton of Arlington, Virginia, collided with the water during a go-around at Tangier Island Airport, Tangier, Virginia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The certificated private pilot and his passenger were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91 and had originated at Potomac, Maryland.

The pilot reported that he made a, "seemingly normal takeoff from Maryland. We were about 30/40 feet off the ground, climbing out when the airplane shuttered and the left wing was probably a gust of wind...the midfield windsock had been hanging almost limp. I righted the plane with a little right aileron and we continued on the climb out." He stated that he continued the flight to his destination airport and "we flew a reasonably straight course, with no turns of more than 20 to 30 degrees. I maintained the engine at about 2300 rpms throughout the 70 mile flight." The pilot stated that he contacted unicom and was recommended runway 2. The airport manager reported that the wind was 360 degrees at 14 knots.

According to the pilot, with the information he had received, he stated that he entered downwind for right traffic to the runway. He stated that the airplane performed "sluggishly. As I turned onto final, I was about 300-400 feet altitude, I pushed the power up to about 1950/2000 rpms to slow the sink rate. As I approached the end of the runway on final, I could see that there was a little bit of crosswind blowing directly across the runway from left to right. I estimate the crosswind was five to seven knots." He stated that he was flying in a "slip position and no amount of right rudder would line the plane up to the runway." At about 40 to 50 feet above the ground the pilot stated that he initiated a go-around and the airplane climbed an additional 50 feet, but the airplane continued veering to the right and losing altitude until it impacted the water off the right side and nosed over in a marshy area.

The FAA examined the airplane and it was revealed that the aileron cable had separated during the impact sequence. The pilot stated that he thought the accident occurred because one of the aileron cables disconnected during his takeoff from Maryland thereby making the airplane difficult to control.

According to the FAA Flight Training Handbook, there are two usual methods of accomplishing a crosswind approach and landing- the crab method, and the wing-low method. Although the crab method may be easier for the pilot to maintain during approach, it requires a high degree of judgment and timing in removing the crab immediately prior to touchdown.

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