Sunday, July 25, 2021

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-28-151, N416RP; accident occurred May 17, 2021 at Piney Pinecreek Border Airport (48Y), Roseau County, Minnesota

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Miller Aircraft Services Inc

Location: Pinecreek, Minnesota
Accident Number: CEN21LA228
Date & Time: May 17, 2021, 14:15 Local 
Registration: N416RP
Aircraft: Piper PA28 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported he was performing a touch-and-go landing with a gusting crosswind when during the landing flare, the wind gust increased, and the left wing raised up. The pilot added more crosswind control inputs, but overcorrected. The airplane yawed left and the pilot lost control of the airplane. The airplane departed the side of the runway and impacted the terrain coming to rest in the grass. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. At the time of the accident, the pilot was landing the airplane on runway 33 with wind from 270° at 9 knots with gusts to 19 knots. The pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented if he would have performed a go-around.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane in gusting crosswind conditions.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Gusts - Ability to respond/compensate
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Other weather encounter
Landing Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-aborted after touchdown Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 22, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: October 10, 2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: July 29, 2019
Flight Time: 167 hours (Total, all aircraft), 56.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 20.1 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N416RP
Model/Series: PA28 151 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 28-7415310
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 15, 2021 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2325 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 11.8 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4881 Hrs
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D3G
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 160
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KROX
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:55 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 128°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 19 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Crookston, ND (KCKN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Pinecreek, MN 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 12:30 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1082 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 33 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3297 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 48.996079,-95.978827

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