NTSB Identification: CHI95LA331.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 25, 1995 in POSEYVILLE, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/08/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28, registration: N39999
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT REPORTED THAT IT WAS DARK WHEN HE DEPARTED THE GRASS AIRSTRIP. THE PILOT DETERMINED THAT HE COULD TAKEOFF EVEN THOUGH THE RUNWAYS LACKED ANY LIGHTING. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE INSTRUCTED SOMEONE IN AN AUTOMOBILE TO POSTION THE AUTOMOBILE AT THE DEPARTURE END OF RUNWAY 22, AND TO SHINE ITS LIGHTS AT THE AIRPLANE IN ORDER TO GIVE THE PILOT A CENTERLINE REFERENCE FOR RUNWAY 22. THE PILOT STATED, 'UNFORTUNATELY, I INSTRUCTED THE AUTOMOBILE TO SET AT THE END OF RUNWAY 18.' HE FURTHER STATED THAT, 'A BLATANT ERROR IN JUDGMENT AND AIRCRAFT DIRECTION RESULTED IN DEPARTING THE RUNWAY AND IMPACTING A ROLLED BALE OF HAY IN THE ADJACENT FIELD.'

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's poor judgement in making a night takeoff on an unlit runway and his failure to maintain proper runway alignment. Factors associated with the accident were the hay bale, the night conditions and the unlit runway.

Full narrative available

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