NTSB Identification: LAX93LA109.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 52089.
Accident occurred Sunday, January 31, 1993 in COLUMBIA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/15/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-31, registration: N16SC
Injuries: 3 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 SAID THAT HE TURNED ON A ONE TO ONE AND ONE HALF MILE BASE FOR RUNWAY 35 AND KEYED HIS MICROPHONE TO ACTIVATE THE PILOT CONTROLLED LIGHTING SYSTEM. THE PILOT SAID THAT ON FINAL APPROACH HE NOTICED THAT THE VASI LIGHTS WERE NOT OPERATING. HE FURTHER REPORTED THAT EVERYTHING SEEMED FINE ON FINAL APPROACH UNTIL ABOUT 200 FEET AGL WHEN HE SAID HE BECAME AWARE OF A LOSS IN ALTITUDE. THE PILOT STATED THAT HE BEGAN APPLYING POWER TO CORRECT THE SITUATION AND THEN OBSERVED A TREE TOP PASS THE COPILOTS WINDOW. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRCRAFT REVEALED THAT THE RIGHT WING HAD COLLIDED WITH THE TREE. AN FAA INSPECTOR STATED THAT THE TREE CONTACTED BY THE AIRCRAFT WAS ABOUT 30 FEET TALL AND LOCATED ABOUT 600 FEET FROM THE APPROACH END OF THE RUNWAY.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A PROPER GLIDEPATH WHILE ON SHORT FINAL APPROACH. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE DARK NIGHT LIGHTING CONDITIONS WHICH MAY HAVE AFFECTED THE PILOT'S PERCEPTUAL AWARENESS OF THE AIRPORT ENVIRONMENT AND THE CUES FOR A PROPER VISUAL APPROACH SLOPE GUIDANCE.
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