NTSB Identification: LAX04CA157.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 14, 2004 in Thermal, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 172C, registration: N8287X
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane settled into brush and hit terrain during a go-around. The pilot had successfully completed landings to his private dirt strip prior to the accident. On final approach with 20 degrees of flaps, he noted that the airplane was higher than normal. About 700 feet down the runway, the wheels touched down on the soft dirt. He aborted the landing instead of applying heavy brake pressure. Without retracting the flaps, he climbed to about 100 feet and made a turn to the left. The airplane began to lose altitude and he continued his turn to the left. After completing a 180-degree turn, he leveled out the airplane and lowered the nose, in an effort to regain airspeed. The sink rate continued, and the main landing gear encountered high brush. He thought that the high density altitude was the reason the airplane could not produce enough power to climb. He reported the temperature to be about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The pilot did not report any mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

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

the pilot's failure to retract the flaps during the go-around and his failure to obtain and maintain sufficient airspeed, which led to a stall mush condition. High density altitude was a contributing factor.

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