On October 12, 1998, approximately 1020 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N6486J, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during an attempted go-around at Buhl Municipal Airport, Buhl, Idaho. The aircraft is registered to Avcenter Inc. of Pocatello, Idaho, and was operated as a 14 CFR 91 instructional flight. The solo student pilot was uninjured in the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and there was no report of an ELT activation. The aircraft departed Twin Falls, Idaho (15 nautical miles east-southeast of Buhl) about 1 hour prior to the accident.

In his report submitted to the NTSB, the pilot said that he planned to make a touch and go on runway 09 (a 3,900 by 60 foot asphalt surface runway.) During the landing flare, the aircraft ballooned upward so he added power to regain control. The aircraft then drifted to the north side of the runway so the pilot decided to make a go-around. According to the pilot, "I applied full power and took the flaps from full [40 degrees] to zero." The pilot stated that the airplane then "started to drop" and the stall warning horn sounded. The aircraft subsequently impacted terrain on the north side of the runway. The student pilot reported winds at the time as being from 080 degrees at approximately 10 knots, and indicated on his NTSB accident report that no mechanical malfunction or failure was involved in the accident.

According to the Cessna 172N Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), the aircraft's recommended balked landing procedure is to raise the flaps to 20 degrees, and obtain a climb speed of 55 KIAS. Flaps should then be raised to 10 degrees until obstacles are cleared, and completely retracted after a safe altitude and an airspeed of 60 KIAS. The aircraft's stall speed with 0 degrees bank, gross weight of 2,300 pounds and most forward center of gravity ranges from 41 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) (47 knots calibrated airspeed [KCAS]) with full flaps, to 47 KIAS (53 KCAS) with flaps up. The POH states that maximum altitude loss during a stall recovery may be as much as 180 feet.

The student pilot received his initial solo endorsement on October 1, 1998, 11 days before the accident, and reported his total time as 14 hours.

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