NTSB Identification: MIA98FA101.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 12, 1998 in ADVANCE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/1999
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180D, registration: N7826N
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The passenger stated that as the flight turned onto final approach to land on runway 27, he was blinded and disoriented by the sun which was directly down, and just above the runway. He then realized he was looking at the sun and runway through tree branches. The aircraft collided with the trees and then crashed to the ground. Neither he nor the pilot were wearing sunglasses or using the aircraft's sun visors. Postcrash examination of the aircraft structure, flight controls, engine, and propeller showed no evidence of precrash failure or malfunction. At the time and location of the accident, the sun was at an altitude of 3.3 degrees on a bearing of 268.3 degrees.

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

The pilot's improper planned visual approach and glide path in diminished visual conditions due to sun-glare and his delayed go-around resulting in the aircraft colliding with trees on final approach.

Full narrative available

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