NTSB Identification: MIA97LA051.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 31, 1996 in ATLANTA, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N62145
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 was cleared for an ILS localizer approach at night to runway 8, & he was advised of the weather, which was in part: 200' scattered, 3200' broken, temperature & dew point 16 degrees, wind calm, visibility west through northeast 1/4 mile. The pilot reported that during the approach, his instrument panel lights were inoperative. However, he continued the approach using his dome light to illuminate his instruments. He reported that he was unable to see the runway lights. The controller vectored the flight for another approach, & advised the pilot to activate the runway lights by keying his radio on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), which the pilot accomplished. The pilot then advised the controller that the runway was in sight, & he would circle back & return to land. The controller cleared the flight for a visual approach to the runway. Before landing, the pilot was advised of dense fog at the approach end of runway 8. The pilot replied that the runway was in sight. As the airplane was on short final, a weather observer saw the airplane enter an area of dense fog, but didn't see it on the landing roll. A search was initiated & the airplane was found where it impacted an upslope embankment about 200 yards short of the runway.

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

failure of the pilot to initiate an immediate climb (go-around or missed approach) after encountering fog, while on final approach to land. Darkness and fog at the end of the runway were related factors.

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