This September 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: Wadsworth, Ohio. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot reported that he was intending to practice his skills in the local practice area since he had not flown in 18 days. Shortly after takeoff, he decided to stay in the traffic pattern and return to practice a full-stop landing. He stated that his approach was fast and the airplane touched down past the midfield yellow marking, which designates the go-around point if the airplane has not touched down. As he passed the yellow line, he was concerned that if he performed a go-around, he would not be able to clear the trees at the end of the runway, so he elected to continue the landing. The airplane traveled off the end of the runway, through a barricade, and down sloping terrain where it nosed over. The pilot reported that he should have flown to the practice area to get comfortable with the airplane prior to landing and/or should have made the first landing at an airport with a longer, wider runway.
Probable cause: The excessive airspeed during the approach and landing and failure to perform a go-around. Contributing to the accident were the barricade and the down-sloping terrain at the end of the runway.
For more information: NTSB.gov