NTSB Identification: LAX97LA141.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 04, 1997 in AVALON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N733CN
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 left seated pilot-in-command was flying the airplane while the right seated passenger, also a pilot, assisted in navigating. The pilot entered the right hand traffic pattern. To the pilot the airplane appeared slightly high turning onto the final approach leg, so full flaps were extended. The airplane descended below the level of the mountain top airport, and the pilot applied full engine power but did not retract the wing flaps. Seconds later the stall warning horn activated, the pilot banked right, and the airplane collided with the side of the cliff within 150 yards of the runway's approach end. A witness, who was awaiting takeoff, observed the approaching airplane. The witness stated that when the airplane was about 1/8 mile from the runway it was flying in a nose high attitude, its speed was slow, its flaps appeared fully extended, and it was very low.

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

The pilot's misjudging the airplane's altitude and distance to the runway and an excessive descent rate, which led to an undershoot, and the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed during the approach. Contributing factors were the pilot's delay in initiating corrective action.

Full narrative available

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