On June 19, 1998, at 1300 central daylight time (cdt), a Cessna 172P, N9786L, operated by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage when while performing a simulated forced landing at Abilene Municipal Airport, Kansas, the airplane landed long, went off the end of the runway, and impacted in a ditch. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. There were no injuries reported by the instructor pilot, dual student, or passenger on board. The cross-country flight originated at Salina, Kansas, at 0800 cdt.

In his written statement, the instructor pilot said that the dual student was performing the maneuver to the runway. The airplane touched down normally. The instructor pilot said that after rolling down the runway 500 feet, he realized that the airplane was not slowing down. The instructor pilot took control of the airplane and applied heavy braking. Realizing that the airplane was not going to stop on the prepared surface, the instructor pilot guided the airplane onto the hard ground surface overrun. The airplane had almost stopped when "a hidden ditch appeared." The instructor pilot said that he did not have time to turn the airplane. The airplane dropped into the ditch.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the wreckage at the Abilene Municipal Airport. The airplane's nose wheel was bent aft. The bottom engine cowling was bent upward. The engine mounts and firewall were bent aft and buckled forward. The airplane's left wing forward spar was twisted aft. The left wingtip was crushed inward. Flight control continuity was confirmed. No anomalies were found with the engine, engine controls, or other airplane systems.

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