On August 18, 2000, about 0913 hours mountain standard time, a Cessna 172, N2078E, was substantially damaged during landing at Flagstaff, Arizona. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by Glendale Aviation, Glendale, Arizona, and rented by the pilot for a local area personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Glendale on the morning of the accident about 0700.

According to the Flagstaff Control Tower, the pilot was landing on runway 21 when directional control was lost and the airplane veered off the left side of the runway colliding with a 5,000-foot remaining marker sign. The winds were reported as 220 degrees at 6 knots and the density altitude was 9,083 feet.

The 80-hour private pilot reported that during the landing touchdown on runway 21, the airplane bounced and ballooned. He added power to soften the landing, but the airplane ballooned further. At that point, the pilot decided to perform a go-around. He applied full power and started climbing. The stall warning was going off, so he reduced the angle of attack. He removed the first notch of flaps, as directed by the balked landing procedure, and the airplane started settling back down quickly. He put the flaps back down, but the descent was not stopped. About the same time, the airplane was hit by a wind gust from the right, pushing the plane left. The pilot attempted to correct but was blown off the runway, colliding with a runway length remaining sign and subsequently, a ditch. He reported that he was number three to land on a long final with full flaps. He stated that there were no mechanical issues with the airplane.

According to the Cessna Pilot Operating Handbook: NORMAL PROCEDURES-BALKED LANDING.

1) Throttle-FULL OPEN. 2) Carburetor Heat-COLD. 3) Wing Flaps-20 degrees (immediately). 4) Climb Speed-55 KIAS. 5) Wing Flaps-10 degrees (until obstacles are cleared) RETRACT (after reaching a safe altitude and 60 KIAS.

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