NTSB Identification: ERA10CA289
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 31, 2010 in Sterling, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/12/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N6371D
Injuries: 3 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 pilot entered the traffic pattern for runway 34 based on the prevailing wind. She observed the wind sock change to favor runway 16 and in response she maneuvered the airplane for a runway 16 landing. The wind changed direction again to favor runway 34 and she maneuvered the airplane to that runway. She thought the airplane was too high over the touchdown zone and elected to perform a go-around. The passenger in the right seat panicked and started screaming, so the pilot discontinued the go-around, closed the throttle, and the airplane settled into the trees past the runway’s end. The airplane sustained structural damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

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

The pilot’s decision to not continue with the go-around, which resulted in a collision with trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction due to the passenger’s panicked condition.

Full narrative available

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