LAX96LA077
LAX96LA077

On December 22, 1995, at 1915 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172, N73303, contacted the terrain and nosed over during an aborted landing on runway 34 at Bakersfield Municipal Airport, Bakersfield, California. The aircraft was substantially damaged; however, the private pilot and three passengers were not injured. No flight plan was filed for the local area personal flight which had departed at 1800 hours. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The operator, who rented the aircraft to the pilot, told the NTSB investigator that the pilot first performed three takeoffs and landings in the aircraft alone to regain night proficiency. He then loaded three passengers for the local area flight.

The operator stated that after the accident the pilot told him that he had made a normal landing approach with full flaps. During the landing flare the aircraft started to drift to the right off the runway and the pilot initiated a go-around without retracting the flaps. The aircraft stalled at 15 feet altitude, the left wing contacted the ground, and the aircraft nosed over. In his report to the NTSB the pilot attributed drifting off the runway to a gust of crosswind. He reported 4 hours total night time prior to the accident flight.

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