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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA026
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 14, 2016 in Latrobe, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N9097U
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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, while on right downwind and after being cleared for a touch-and-go landing, the tower controller instructed him to make a short approach. The pilot further reported that, during approach, the airplane was to the left of the runway, so he attempted to correct to the right, and “believe[s] that…[he] had applied full right rudder.” Subsequently, the right wing impacted the ground and the airplane cart-wheeled. The right wing separated from the fuselage.
The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The pilot reported as a safety recommendation that the accident could have been prevented if he had executed a go-around.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s unstabilized approach, which resulted in the airplane’s wing striking the ground while the pilot was maneuvering to realign with the runway.