ERA12CA189
ERA12CA189

The student pilot was returning to his home airport following a solo cross country flight. He obtained the airport's automated weather advisory, and learned that the winds were reported to be variable at 6 knots. He subsequently entered the airport traffic pattern and attempted to land the airplane. The pilot was having difficulty with the wind gusts and became uncomfortable as the airplane touched down on the runway, so he aborted the landing. During the second landing attempt, the pilot crabbed the airplane until just before touchdown. Immediately after touchdown, a gust of wind from the right blew the airplane left. The pilot "lost control" and the airplane departed the left side of the runway, crossed a grassy area and a taxiway, and struck a taxiway sign. During the collision the left main landing gear collapsed and the left horizontal stabilizer was substantially damaged. The weather conditions reported about 40 minutes after the accident included a 20-degree right quartering headwind at 8 knots. The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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