NTSB Identification: NYC96LA051.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 16, 1996 in AUBURN, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22, registration: N913A
Injuries: 1 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.

After departing without a weather briefing, the pilot contacted flight service for an en route briefing. Due to stronger-than-planned-for headwinds and deviations around snow showers, he arrived at his destination with insufficient fuel to fly to an alternate airport. The pilot believed that the deteriorating weather precluded further flight. He was unable to activate the runway lights with either the airplane radio or a hand held backup radio. The pilot aligned the airplane with two sets of obstruction lights, which he thought were the approach and departure ends of runway 22. The far set of lights was in-fact at an obstruction located to the left of the departure end of runway 22. After touchdown at an angle to the runway, the airplane struck a snowbank. It then rolled onto the right wing and came to rest on its nose. The FAA reported that the airplane radio had a loose connection, and the hand-held radio lacked sufficient power to activate the runway lights.

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

The pilot's improper planning/decision and failure to attain proper alignment with the landing area. Factors relating to the accident were: darkness, and the inoperative radio transmitter, which precluded the pilot from activating the runway lights.

Full narrative available

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