NTSB Identification: LAX96LA192.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 07, 1996 in RENO, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N5394K
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 thought his aircraft was too high as he turned final, but after lowering additional flaps he allowed the aircraft to become too low and slow. When he saw the VASI lights indications he thought that the aircraft might land short. He applied 'some' power but it did not stop the aircraft from sinking. He responded by increasing back pressure in an attempt to increase his glide. He heard the stall warning horn and felt the stall buffet, but did not any more power because he thought that once the aircraft entered ground effect it would reach the runway. The aircraft stalled, landing hard short of the runway threshold. The aircraft bounced and then struck the raised threshold lip with its right main gear. It settled back on runway 26 and then slid to a stop off the right side. The approach was flown over rising terrain which can give a pilot the illusion that the aircraft is at a higher altitude. If not recognized, this illusion may induce him to maintain a higher pitch attitude resulting in a lower airspeed and an increased rate of descent during an approach.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to obtain and maintain flying speed and a proper glide path, which resulted in an inadvertent stall during a visual approach. An increased altitude illusion created by rising terrain under the final approach course was a factor. Full narrative available
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