On January 30, 2001, at 1445 mountain standard time, a Cessna R172E, N7905N, was substantially damaged when it exited the side of the runway during landing roll and impacted a snow bank at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, Colorado Springs, Colorado. The student pilot, the sole occupant in the airplane, was not injured. The United States Air Force Flight Training Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was operating the airplane under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional solo flight that originated approximately 45 minutes before the accident. No flight plan had been filed.

The flight instructor said that the student was performing his second supervised solo (19 hours of flight experience). According to the student pilot, during landing roll a gust of wind lifted his left wing, and he subsequently exited the left side of runway 12. The airplane impacted a snow bank, and the right wing tip was bent up.

The instructor said that when the student's flight started the wind was approximately east, north-east at 5 knots. He said that approximately 30 minutes later, the wind increased, and he requested that the student discontinue the flight. The flight instructor said that he thought the wind was between 010 and 020 degrees at the time of the student's final landing. The National Weather Service reported the wind at Colorado Springs Airport at 1454 as 060 degrees at 16 knots.

The Owner's Manual for the airplane states "the maximum allowable crosswind velocity is dependent upon pilot capability rather than airplane limitations. With average pilot technique, direct crosswinds of 15 knots can be handled with safety."

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