This March 2009 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 182. Injuries: None. Location: Sedona, Ariz. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: While making a VFR approach to a full-stop landing, the pilot encountered thermal turbulence. He applied 10° of flaps initially, and thought he had added more flaps, but did not visually confirm that he was at full flaps on final because he was distracted by the turbulence. As a result, when he was on final approach the plane was high and would have touched down long, so he executed a go-around. During the go-around he did not feel the expected sinking of the airplane when he repositioned the cockpit flap control. Because he did not feel the sinking sensation, and because he had not visually confirmed the position of the flaps at any time since entering the pattern, he incorrectly assumed that the flaps were not functioning properly. He elected to make his second landing with the flaps still in the position they were at after the go-around, which was 10°. During the second approach the pilot landed long and applied the brakes heavily. He reported the brake on the left main gear did not provide any braking action. He could not stop the airplane and it went off the end of the runway, through a fence and flipped over onto its back.
The post-accident investigation did not find any problems with the flaps, however, the FAA inspector determined that the left pedal master cylinder was low on fluid. The examination also determined that very little braking or pedal resistance was present when the brake pedal was pushed toward its applied position, and there was likely very little, if any, left wheel braking action during the attempt to stop the airplane after landing long.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to achieve the proper touchdown point during a full-stop landing attempt. Contributing to the accident were the failure to ensure that the aircraft was properly configured for landing, his not initiating a go-around when the airplane was landing long, and a malfunction in one of the main landing gear braking systems.
For more information: NTSB.gov