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N4123K accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Charlevoix, MI
45.318063°N, 85.258400°W
Tail number N4123K
Accident date 02 Feb 2001
Aircraft type Piper PA-34-220T
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On February 2, 2001, at 1630 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-34-220T, N4123K, operated by a private pilot, collided with a runway light and snow bank following a loss of directional control during landing. The landing was being made on runway 27 (4,550 feet by 75 feet), at the Charlevoix Municipal Airport, Charlevoix, Michigan. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions and an IFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Pontiac, Michigan, at 1500 est.

The pilot reported that during the landing roll, the "…aircraft veered right due to too much right aileron into right crosswind. I neutralized aileron and steered to left with rudder. Wind gust and right crosswind lifted right wing and aircraft veered left, hit ice and slid into left snow bank while moving in forward direction." The pilot reported the left propeller, left main gear, and left flap contacted the snow bank.

The pilot reported the winds were from 330 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 17 knots, during the landing. A weather observation taken at the Charlevoix Municipal Airport, 6 minutes after the accident, reported the winds were from 320 degrees at 9 knots.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Flight Standards District Office, inspected the runway after the accident. He reported the center of the runway was clear, however, there were patches of ice along the left side of the runway. He reported that the snow along the sides of the runway was high enough so that only the tops of the runway lights were visible.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot failed to maintain directional control of the airplane due to inadequate compensation for the wind conditions. Factors associated with the accident were the gusty crosswind, the icy runway, and the snow bank.

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