NTSB Identification: SEA97IA217.
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Incident occurred Thursday, September 25, 1997 in SODA SPRINGS, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-250, registration: CGBUA
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

While on an aerial photographic survey flight, the pilot noted fuel leaking from around a fuel tank cap and elected to land at the nearest suitable airport (Soda Springs, Idaho.) Approaching the airport, the pilot checked two flight information publications including the U.S. Government Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) to obtain airport information. He then performed an approach to runway 16. A U.S. highway runs approximately perpendicular to the runway extended centerline, crossing it approximately 50 feet short (north) of the approach end (the A/FD identifies approach obstructions to runway 16 only as 'Road'.) The pilot reported he was on a stabilized approach, on glide path (the runway is equipped with a tri-color visual approach slope indicator [VASI]), when the aircraft collided with a truck on the highway. The collision knocked off the airplane's left main wheel, but the pilot was able to execute a go-around and subsequently landed at Pocatello, Idaho, without further incident. A previous aircraft/vehicle collision occurred at Soda Springs in 1978. Local airport authorities increased the glide path angle setting of the runway 16 tri-color VASI after the accident, so as to give increased clearance over the highway on final approach.

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

The pilot's failure to see-and-avoid the truck. Related factors included: a truck, insufficient runway obstruction information provided in the Airport/Facility Directory by the FAA, and VASI glide path angle setting (by local airport personnel) which provided inadequate clearance over the crossing highway.

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