NTSB Identification: IAD01LA020.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 18, 2000 in MEDFORD, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/23/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N789FW
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.

During a local night VFR flight, the airplane experienced a complete loss of electrical power, and the pilot returned to his home airport. The pilot was unable to activate the runway lights, but the runway was equipped with VASI approach lighting. The passenger shined a flashlight on the instruments, and the pilot performed a no-flaps approach to a landing halfway down the runway. The airplane overran the runway and struck a ditch. Interpolation of a short field landing distance performance chart from the airplane owner's manual revealed that the distance required to land over a 50-foot obstacle with no flaps deployed was 1,687 feet. The runway was 3,496 feet long, and 75 feet wide. The pilot was issued his pilot certificate on the day before the accident, and had 47 hours of flight experience, 3.5 hours of which was at night. All of his flight experience was in make and model. A test of the airplane's electrical system revealed that the voltage regulator was inoperative.

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

The pilot's failure to attain the proper touchdown point. Factors included the loss of electrical power, the dark night, and the pilot's lack of night experience.

Full narrative available

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