This July 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Edgewater, Md. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot departed on a cross-country flight. He had flown Cessnas before but had not flown one with a cruise propeller and was not aware that the engine rpm would be less than he was used to. During cruise flight the engine tachometer showed 2,400 rpm. The pilot was expecting to see 2,600 rpm so he elected to return to the departure airport to make a precautionary landing. The pilot performed three missed approaches to the 2,500-foot-long, asphalt runway, due to high approach speeds. On the fourth landing attempt, the airplane again approached at a high speed, and the pilot attempted to bleed-off airspeed during the flare. The airplane touched down at a higher rate of speed than normal, bounced, and then settled on the runway. The pilot was not able to stop the plane before he ran out of runway. The airplane came to a stop after going through a fence.
Probable cause: The pilot’s misjudged distance/speed during landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov