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N97306 accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location 39.677222°N, 119.827223°W
Nearest city Spanish Springs, NV
39.649077°N, 119.707410°W
6.7 miles away
Tail number N97306
Accident date 31 Aug 2006
Aircraft type Cessna 172P
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 31, 2006, about 1911 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N97306, collided with a house in Spanish Springs, Nevada. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The cross-country personal flight departed Santa Monica, California, about 1445, with a planned destination of Spanish Springs. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The approximate global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of the primary wreckage were 39 degrees 39 minutes north latitude and 119 degrees 48 minutes west longitude.

The pilot submitted a written statement. He was unfamiliar with the airport. Upon arrival, he flew around the airport at 5,600 feet mean sea level (msl); the airport elevation was 4,600 feet. UNICOM informed him that runway 16 was the preferred runway. He noted that the airport had a hill, which had silos on it, on the approach end of the runway.

The pilot stated that he maintained what he felt was a safe vertical separation from the silos, and came in a bit high as he setup for the landing. During his flare, he became aware that the runway slopped uphill. He was below the crest, and could not see how long the runway continued past it. He decided to go around, rather than rolling to the top and finding that the runway ended. Because of the runway slope, he felt that he could not level off and pickup speed. He pulled the nose up, and upon climbing above the crest, noticed houses at the end of the runway. He applied full power, and leaned the mixture for pattern altitude. The airplane started to climb, and he feathered the flaps up 1/2 notch. However, the airplane seemed to lose some lift. The terrain ahead sloped downhill to his left, so he banked slightly to the left. He maintained 60 knots, and noted that the stall warning horn did not sound. The airplane did not gain enough airspeed or altitude, and collided with the house.

The pilot noted several circumstances that might have prevented the accident. They were raising the flaps after gaining more altitude; using runway 34 where he could see the whole runway; and being better briefed on the contour of runway 16.

The Airport/Facility Directory, Southwest U. S., indicated that that there was no line of sight between the ends of the runway. It stated that runway 16 had a 2.5 percent up gradient in the first 500 feet.

The Pilot Information Manual for the Model 172P states that during a go-around the flaps should be retracted to 20 degrees, and the climb conducted at a speed of 55 knots. The density altitude was calculated to be 6,700 feet. The closest aviation weather reporting facility 14 nautical miles away was reporting winds from 060 degrees at 5 knots.

Sec. 91.103 of the Federal Aviation Regulations discusses preflight action. It states that each pilot-in-command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include, for any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use. Paragraph (b)(1) specifies that the pilot must determine the takeoff and landing distance information for civil aircraft with an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data. Paragraph (b)(2) specifies takeoff and landing information for civil aircraft other than those specified in paragraph (b)(1). The pilot may use other reliable information appropriate to the aircraft, relating to aircraft performance under expected values of airport elevation and runway slope, aircraft gross weight, and wind and temperature.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to initiate a timely go-around and to attain an adequate climb rate. Factors in the accident were the high density altitude and the likely quartering tail wind that may have affected the aircraft's climb gradient.

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