NTSB Identification: IAD97LA046.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 04, 1997 in CHESAPEAKE, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N62332
Injuries: 1 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 departed at 0030 for a cross-country flight in night visual meteorological conditions. After a 2 hour flight, the pilot entered a left downwind for runway 26. Not satisfied with his approach, the pilot executed a go-around. He reentered the pattern on downwind for runway 8. Once established, the pilot reported that he turned base leg. After rolling wings level on base, the runway environment disappeared, and the landing light illuminated a row of trees. The pilot added full power, closed the carburetor heat, and established a climb attitude, but the airplane contacted trees and was damaged. Since no major impact occurred, the pilot reestablished his approach and completed the landing with no further occurrence, then taxied to the ramp. The pilot had 5.4 hours total night flight time, and this was his first night time logged as pilot-in-command.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain proper altitude during the approach at night. Related factors were: darkness, and the pilot's lack of night flying experience.

Full narrative available

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