On July 28, 2005, at 1620 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N98730, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at the Essex County Airport (CDW), Caldwell, New Jersey. The certificated student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed, for the local solo instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the student pilot, he was "too high" and "too fast" during final approach to the runway, and he initiated a go-around near the second intersecting taxiway. As he applied full power, he noticed that the noise of the engine did not seem to accelerate, and the engine rpm began to decrease. The pilot then prepared for a forced landing to the grass beyond the departure end of the runway. During the landing, the airplane "hit hard" on the right main landing gear.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane after the accident. According to the inspector, substantial damage was observed to the firewall of the airplane, and both propeller blades displayed S-bending and chordwise scratching. Manual rotation of the engine revealed "good" compression at all the cylinders. A check of the engine timing revealed no anomalies, and the magnetos were examined and produced spark at all leads. The spark plugs, ignition system, and fuel lines were examined and no deficiencies were noted. A sample of fuel taken from the carburetor bowl was free of contamination, and a functional test of the accelerator pump, revealed no mechanical anomalies.

The airplane was "topped off" with fuel prior to the accident flight, and the total duration of the accident flight was approximately 0.2 hours. Additionally, the flaps were observed in the retracted position.

The student pilot reported 45 hours of total flight experience, all of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

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