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N34722 accident description

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Crash location 36.625278°N, 93.225000°W
Nearest city Branson, MO
36.653951°N, 93.250182°W
2.4 miles away
Tail number N34722
Accident date 19 Sep 2012
Aircraft type Cessna 177B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 19, 2012, about 2035 central daylight time, a Cessna model 177B airplane, N34722, was substantially damaged while landing at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport (PLK), Branson, Missouri. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Kimberling Flying Club, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, without a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that originated from Mountain View Airport (MNF), Mountain View, Missouri, about 1938.

The pilot reported that the airplane drifted right of the extended runway centerline during final approach to runway 12 (3,738 feet by 100 feet, asphalt). He stated that he over-corrected for the right drift, which resulted in the airplane being left of the runway centerline. He reported that he then performed a go-around because the airplane was not properly aligned with the runway; however, he was unable to maintain airplane control after losing external visual references in the dark night condition. The airplane impacted a visual approach slope indicator (VASI) located off the left side of the runway before it descended into a steep wooded ravine. The fuselage and both wings were substantially damaged during the accident sequence. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

An examination of the runway, completed by the airport manager following the accident, revealed several slash-markings that were consistent with the airplane propeller striking the pavement before it impacted the VASI and descended into the wooded ravine. The airport manager reported that the runway's medium intensity edge lighting and runway end identifier lights were operational at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported having 633 hours of flight experience in airplanes, of which 80 hours were flown at night. He had accumulated 2.6 hours of night experience during the previous 90 days. The accident flight, about 1 hour in duration, was the only night flight reported within the previous 30 days. The pilot was not instrument rated.

The closest weather observing station was located at the Branson Airport (BBG), about 7 miles south of the accident site. At 2045, the BBG automated surface observing system reported: wind 150 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 25,000 feet above ground level, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dew point 10 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches of mercury.

The United States Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department reported that the sunset and end of civil twilight at PLK was at 1914 and 1939, respectively. The moon phase was a waxing crescent with 17-percent of the moon's visible disk illuminated. The moonset occurred about 57 minutes after the accident at 2132.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during an attempted go-around in dark night conditions.

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