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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA15CA117
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 02, 2015 in Valdosta, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-301, registration: N42993
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that he was landing the airplane in turbulent conditions with gusting wind. He stated that during the landing flare, the airplane encountered an updraft, followed immediately by a downdraft. The airplane subsequently impacted the runway and the nose landing gear collapsed, resulting in substantial damage to the engine firewall. The pilot reported there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies of the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. Review of archived weather information for the accident airport about the time of the accident revealed variable wind at 9 knots with gusts to 19 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to compensate for gusty wind conditions during the landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing and subsequent nose landing gear collapse.