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NTSB blames pilot for rough landing in Reno
by Scott Sonner - Associated Press
Dec 14, 2011 | 12782 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO (AP) — An investigation of a small plane’s rough landing at Reno-Tahoe International Airport cleared air traffic controllers of any wrongdoing and determined the pilot probably was to blame.

The failure of Leon Roberts to adequately account for crosswinds was the probable cause of the Sept. 16 landing that caused damage to a wing of his Cessna 180H, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday in a one-page finding.

Roberts, 62, of Noxon, Mont., has said he and the pilot of another single-engine plane almost crashed in the unexpected wind gusts in excess of 20 mph.

Roberts complained to the NTSB that he got bad information about the wind from the control tower and he felt he should have been directed to a different runway.

Roberts said he had been told through an automated report put out by the tower that the winds were at 250 degrees from the west at about 15 mph. But after his near-crash, Roberts said he was told the winds actually were coming from about 280 degrees — a sharper angle — at about 22 mph.

Roberts said he was landing his Cessna 180H when it was hit by a strong gust that caused it to spin when it reached the ground, damaging the left wing.

The NTSB confirmed in Wednesday’s report that Roberts’ plane veered on landing and sustained substantial damage to the left wing and elevator.

The board determined the probable cause of the accident was “the pilot’s inadequate compensation for the crosswind condition, which resulted in a loss of directional control.”

Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, previously said that agency had reviewed the incident and found “no issues of concern.” The FAA is responsible for the operation of the air control tower.
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