NTSB Identification: FTW96LA401.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 24, 1996 in FALCON, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA28-151, registration: N41369
Injuries: 2 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 a night local area personal flight, the pilot was attempting to land at the airport of departure and could not turn on the runway lights by use of the UNICOM. He attempted to land without this aid and the landing was made in a ditch between the runway and taxiway. During landing roll the aircraft struck a culvert. The frequency for the UNICOM had been changed several weeks earlier and this change had been published in NOTAMS, and local air traffic control and flight service had the change published in controller instructions. No evidence was found that the pilot attempted to contact these facilities. Lighting and weather at the time was clear skies and dark night lighting.

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

Failure by the pilot to select suitable terrain for landing. Factors were inadequate preflight planning and preparation for the flight by the pilot by failing to check NOTAMS and failing to use communication aids available to him.

Full narrative available

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