Monday, April 18, 2016

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N2663X, Spartan Education LLC: Accident occurred April 15, 2016 in Stillwater, Payne County, Oklahoma


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oklahoma City FSDO-15

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA194
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 15, 2016 in Stillwater, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/15/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N2663X
Injuries: 1 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 solo student pilot reported that while landing in gusty crosswind conditions the airplane bounced multiples times on touchdown. The student pilot further reported that the airplane drifted off the runway to the right and impacted a runway distance remaining sign with the right elevator, which resulted in substantial damage to the elevator.

An automated weather observing station at the accident airport, about the time of the accident, reported the wind at 120 degrees true at 16 knots, gusting to 21 knots, which resulted in a 14 knot crosswind component for the landing on runway 17. 

The student pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

The flight school's policies and procedures in part states: "All flights, excluding stage 2 pilot, will use the "maximum demonstrated" crosswind in the aircraft [Pilot's Operating Handbook] POH/ [Airplane Flying Manual] AFM as the maximum allowable crosswind takeoff limit." 

The student pilot was not a "stage 2 pilot" and had no additional crosswind limitations listed in his logbook endorsements. The Cessna 172R maximum demonstrated crosswind was listed as 15 knots. According to the flight instructor, the student pilot has demonstrated satisfactory performance in previous instructional flights under similar wind conditions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll in gusty crosswind conditions, which resulted in a runway excursion and collision with a runway distance remaining sign.

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