On July 7, 2001, at 1000 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N52452, ran off of the end of runway 23 and collided with water while landing at George T. Lewis Airport in Cedar Key, Florida. The personal flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with a VFR flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage; the commercial pilot and his three passengers received no injuries. The personal flight departed Orlando Sanford Airport in Orlando, Florida, at 0845.

According to the pilot, he was landing on runway 23 at George T. Lewis Airport in Cedar Key, Florida, then contacted the runway approximately 700 feet from the threshold, and firmly applied the brakes. He said, "I estimated the end of the runway to be 1000 feet away at this point and decided to initiate a go-around. Carb heat was pushed off, flaps were raised to 20 degrees and full throttle was applied. The aircraft did not appear to be able to gain lift-off speed, and at approximately 51-53 KTS with no runway remaining, I pulled the aircraft up and over some runway end weeds and dropped down to some 3 feet about the water to attempt flying in ground effect to gain airspeed. My airspeed at this point did not increase and I began to look for a safe, and if possible, dry spot to put it down." The airplane collided with water approximately 125 feet from the end of runway 23 at George T. Lewis Airport in Cedar Key, Florida.

No mechanical problems with the airplane were reported by the pilot. Examination at the accident site weather data revealed wind conditions shifting resulted in a tailwind situation. The pilot reported variable wind speed and direction conditions during the attempted landing.

According to Cessna 172P airplane performance data, the approximate landing roll at a gross weight of 2400 pounds is 540 feet. Runway 23 is 2,355 feet long.

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