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N30EF accident description

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Crash location 40.617500°N, 74.244722°W
Nearest city Linden, NJ
40.622048°N, 74.244590°W
0.3 miles away
Tail number N30EF
Accident date 10 Mar 2003
Aircraft type Cessna 172P
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 10, 2003, about 1550 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172P, N30EF, was substantially damaged when it struck a snowbank during landing at the Linden Airport, Linden, New Jersey. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight which originated at Linden Airport. No flight plan had been filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, when he returned to Linden after the local flight, there was a strong cross wind. During his first attempt to land on runway 27, a 4,137 foot long, 100 foot wide, asphalt runway, he was too far left of the runway and performed a go-around.

During the second approach, one main wheel touched down on the runway, followed by the other. After touchdown, the pilot encountered a strong gust of wind which pushed the airplane off the left side of the runway. The airplane's left main landing wheel then struck a snowbank, and the airplane ended up in a drainage ditch.

According to a witness who was also a pilot, he observed the airplane perform a go-around. During the second approach it appeared the airplane was stable, entered a flare, and touched down near the center of the runway. The airplane's right wing then appeared to rise, along with the right main landing wheel, and the airplane began to veer left. The airplane also began a series of small bounces to the left, until the airplane's left main tire rolled through snow that remained along the left side of the runway. The witness further stated:

"...just prior to Taxiway Delta, the left main tire struck a large snow and ice bank, forcing the left main strut upward and toward the rear of the aircraft. The aircraft then suddenly veered left towards the ditch, at which time the left wing tip struck the ground, the nosewheel came detached, and the aircraft ended up at the bottom of the ditch."

The witness also stated that the wind sock indicated a west-northwest wind that was "fairly gusty."

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane did a partial ground loop, which resulted in damage to the left wing tip, engine cowling, propeller blades, firewall, and underside of the fuselage. The nose and left main landing gear were also collapsed.

The pilot reported his total flight experience to be 103 hours, all in make and model.

At 1551, winds reported at the Newark International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, about 5 miles northeast of Linden, were from 320 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 19.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate compensation for the crosswind and his failure to maintain directional control during landing. Factors in the accident were the crosswind and the snowbank.

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