On March 30, 1999, at 1230 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172B, N7821X, collided with a tree during a landing at a private airstrip in Mount Airy, North Carolina. The personal flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The private pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Mount Airy Airport Mount Airy, North Carolina, at about 1215 enroute to a private airstrip.

According to the pilot, he flared near the end of the runway and the airplane "floated about two to three feet above ground." He stated that he had "too much airspeed" and he had used about half of the 1600-foot airstrip before touching down. The pilot also stated that after touchdown, he knew he could not stop before the end of the runway and that he "could not make a go-around because of trees on the west end of the runway." The airplane subsequently ran off the runway and collided with a tree.

A review of landing performance data for the Cessna 172 disclosed that, the required landing distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle at sea level is 1250 feet. There is a 20 percent increase in required distance when landing on a grass/sod runway at the maximum gross weight for the airplane. The landing surface at the accident site was a 1600-foot long dry, grass airstrip.

Examination of the accident site disclosed that the airplane departed the runway and collided with a tree. No mechanical problems with the airplane were reported by the pilot.

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