NTSB Identification: WPR09FA316
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 28, 2009 in Rimrock, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/11/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N4396R
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

The pilot attempted to perform a landing at the back country turf airstrip. He had not landed at this airstrip before and witnesses reported gusty tail wind conditions existed as the pilot attempted the landing. The runway was surrounded by trees, and rapidly rising mountainous terrain existed at the departure end of the accident runway. The terrain is such that under most circumstances, landings are made in the direction of this runway irrespective of wind conditions. Witnesses observed the airplane approach the runway high and fast. The airplane did not touch down at the normal touchdown point, but rather continued at tree top level before the pilot added power about 3/4 of the way along the runway. The airplane then struck trees at the end of the runway in a nose high attitude. Post accident examination of the engine and airframe did not reveal any malfunctions or failures that would have prevented normal flight. The pilot had relatively low total flight experience, which included 2 hours of total flight time in the preceding 90 days, with his last flight occurring 2 months prior to the accident. Additionally, he had no experience landing at turf airstrips, or airports located within mountainous terrain.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees during a go-around. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of flight experience, and his delayed initiation of a go-around.

Full narrative available

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