NTSB Identification: IAD96LA053.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 22, 1996 in ROANOKE, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/08/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N108RV
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that the airplane's engine lost power at night when he was about ten miles south of Roanoke airport at 11,500 feet MSL. The pilot requested and received clearance for an emergency landing at Roanoke, and ATC vectored the airplane for a straight-in approach. The pilot reported the airport lights in sight from six miles and was cleared to land. The pilot stated that when the airplane was about 1/2 mile from the runway, he realized that he would not be able to reach the runway. He landed in a shopping mall parking lot about 1/2 mile south of the airport. During the landing, the airplane struck a vehicle and a light pole. Postaccident examination did not revealed a preimpact mechanical malfunction. The engine operated normally during a postaccident engine test run. The pilot reported that he performed his emergency descent at 90 KIAS, and did not complete the emergency check list procedures. According to the aircraft manufacturer, the best glide speed was 65 KIAS.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

loss of engine power for undetermined reason(s). Darkness and the pilot's improper emergency procedures were related factors.

Full narrative available

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