NTSB Identification: CHI07CA025.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 16, 2006 in Ankeny, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 172G, registration: N1374F
Injuries: 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 was substantially damaged when it encountered a ditch after over running the runway pavement during a night landing. The pilot reported that the runway lights did not come on when she attempted to activate them via the airplane radio prior to landing. She attempted to activate them a total of 3 times. She subsequently overflew the airport in order to identify the runway. She stated that she "flew downwind to where [she] estimated the end of the runway would be [and] turned to final." She noted that she flew over the runway "low" to see the centerline and decided to land. She then realized that the airplane had touched down "well down [the] runway." She was unable to stop before the end of the pavement and the airplane rolled into the grass. She stated that as the airplane slowed she attempted to turn back; however, she encountered a drainage ditch causing the nose landing gear to collapse and damaging the firewall. The pilot reported that after the accident she realized that the radio was set to the incorrect frequency. The radio was set to 120.9 instead of the correct Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) for the destination airport of 122.9. The airport manager reported that the runway lights functioned properly when activated after the accident. He also noted that the lights are normally off until activated by a pilot via the CTAF.

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

The pilot's improper decision to land on an unlighted runway at night, and her resulting failure to attain a proper touchdown point leading to the landing over run. Contributing factors were the night (low light) condition and the ditch encountered during the overrun.

Full narrative available

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