NTSB Identification: LAX97LA312.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 28, 1997 in AVRA VALLEY, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna T210J, registration: N2280R
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.

The pilot stated that he had a total electrical failure while en route to his destination. He decided to land at an uncontrolled airport that had a lighted runway instead of his usual destination. The landing was made uneventfully, but during the taxi to the ramp area the pilot misjudged his position on the unlighted taxiway and ran off the taxiway into a large drainage ditch. The ditch was not marked, nor was it mentioned in the airport remarks in the Airport Facility Directory or in the NOTAMS. The ditch was estimated to have a depth of approximately 3-4 feet below the surface of the runway, with an estimated slope in excess of 35 degrees. A postaccident examination of the electrical system did not identify the problem other than it was noted that one cell of the battery only charged to 50 percent. Examination of the taxiway found skid marks just prior to the aircraft departing the paved surface of the taxiway. The pilot told investigators that he was unfamiliar with the layout of this airport.

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

The pilot became lost/disoriented during his taxiing into the ramp area. Factors in the accident were the lack of taxiway lights, the pilot's lack of familiarity with the layout of the airport, and the airport operator's failure to either identify the drainage ditch in the airport/facility guide or to mark the ditch with signs.

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