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N118ET accident description

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Crash location 36.183334°N, 86.886666°W
Nearest city Nashville, TN
36.165890°N, 86.784443°W
5.8 miles away
Tail number N118ET
Accident date 20 Mar 2016
Aircraft type Cessna 172
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The pilot reported that during landing in crosswind conditions, the airplane began to drift to the right over the runway lights in the landing flare. The pilot further reported that he determined "it was not safe to land" and applied full power to go-around and subsequently retracted the flaps from 30 degrees to zero degrees. During the go-around, he reported that the airplane was unable to gain airspeed or altitude and touched down in the grass next to the runway and aborted the go-around. Subsequently, the pilot taxied back onto the runway and proceeded to the ramp.

A postaccident examination revealed substantial damage to elevator and rudder. The pilot reported that "he did not realize the angle of attack was severe enough" to cause a tail strike during the go-around.

The Cessna 172R (180 HP) Pilot's Operating Handbook in part states: "In a balked landing (go-around) climb, reduce the flap setting to 20 degrees immediately after full power is applied. If obstacles must be cleared during the go-around climb, reduce the wing flap setting to 10 degrees and maintain a safe airspeed until the obstacles are cleared."

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's excessive pitch up and incorrect action of selecting flaps to zero degrees, which resulted in a tail strike during a go-around in crosswind conditions.

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