On July 22, 1996, at 1830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172K, N46700, was substantially damaged during an aborted landing and collision with trees at the Greenwood Lake Airport, West Milford, New Jersey. The certificated airline transport pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that originated at the Greenwood Lake Airport, about 1810. No flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he was practicing takeoffs and landings to runway 24. In the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 he stated:

"A decision was made to execute a go around/missed approach. Normal procedures were complied with. Aircraft failed to accelerate. In order to avoid high terrain dead ahead, a maneuver was executed to position the aircraft where it came to rest."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector's report:

"...the aircraft...was the base of trees which were hit in the crash. It was located 100 yards south of Rwy 24. [The pilot]...told me he was practicing touch and go landings to Rwy 24 and his last landing was a little long. He had full flaps down and when he elected to go around, the aircraft would not accelerate. He [started] to take some flap up, but did not get them all up because he was getting into the trees. He could not understand why the airplane would not accelerate."

Examination of the airplane revealed no pre-impact failure of the engine, airframe or flight controls, and the flaps were at approximately 10 degrees.

Under balked landing, The Cessna Owner's Manual stated:

"In a balked landing (go-around) climb, reduce the wing flap setting to 20 degrees immediately after full power is applied. If the flaps were extended to 40 degrees, the reduction to 20 degrees may be approximated by placing the flap switch in the UP position for two seconds and then returning the switch to neutral. If obstacles must be cleared during the go-around climb, leave the wing flaps in the 10 to 20 degrees range and maintain a climb speed of 65 to 75 MPH until the obstacles are cleared.

The manual also stated, Under Wing Flap Settings, that the use of 10 degrees of flaps would shorten the ground run; however, the advantage was lost during the climb to clear a 50 foot obstacle. Under Take-Off Data in the manual, it listed a total takeoff distance of 1,525 feet, to clear a 50 foot obstacle, with the flaps retracted, at a 2,300 pound takeoff weight, at sea level and 59 degrees F. It also listed a ground roll landing distance of 520 feet for the same conditions.

The pilot listed the runway length in the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, as 4,000 feet. The actual runway length, as listed in several airport directories was 2,734 feet.

The pilot also listed the seat that he occupied during the accident as the right seat. The passenger listed in the front left seat, traditionally the pilot-in-command seat, obtained a student pilot certificate in August 1996.

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