NTSB Identification: NYC01FA217.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 26, 2001 in Matawan, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/01/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172SP, registration: N629PD
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During nighttime conditions, the airplane approached runway 09, a 2,156-foot long, 50-foot wide, asphalt runway. The airplane touched down near the opposite end of the runway, almost on the numbers "27." The engine then revved, and the airplane initially climbed, but it turned left and struck transmission wires. The tower that supported the transmission wires was approximately 133 feet tall, and unlighted. It was located adjacent to the runway, about 1,260 feet northeast of the departure end of runway 09. Additionally, there 56-foot tall transmission wires located approximately 860 feet beyond the departure end of the runway, and perpendicular to it. However, review of an Information Manual for the make and model airplane revealed sufficient horizontal distance remained for the airplane to climb above those wires. The pilot obtained his private pilot certificate 4 days prior to the accident. According to his logbook, the pilot had a total flight experience of 87 hours, of which, about 12 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot also had a total nighttime flying experience of approximately 5 hours. The reported wind about 5 minutes after the accident, at an airport about 10 miles southeast of the accident site was from 210 degrees at 8 knots.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain runway alignment during the initial climb. Factors were the pilot's failure to perform a go-around, the pilot's lack of flight experience in nighttime conditions, the nighttime conditions, and a tailwind.

Full narrative available

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