NTSB Identification: CHI91LA074.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43066.
Accident occurred Saturday, January 19, 1991 in CABOOL, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24, registration: N5627P
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 AFTER CIRCLING THE AIRPORT, TO DETERMINE RUNWAY USE ON A DARK NIGHT, HE LOWERED THE GEAR AND PREPARED TO LAND. HE NOTICED ON FINAL APPROACH, THE LANDING GEAR INDICATOR LIGHTS WERE NOT ILLUMINATED PROPERLY AND ATTEMPTED TO DETERMINE IF THE GEAR WAS IN THE SAFE POSITION. HE SAW THE LIGHTED WIND TEE GO BY, ABOUT MID-FIELD, DURING FINAL APPROACH AND DECIDED THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT RUNWAY TO LAND SO ELECTED TO MAKE A GO AROUND. HE SAID THAT HE MUST HAVE INADVERTENTLY SHUT THE PANEL LIGHTS OFF, WHICH AUTOMATICALLY BRIGHTENS UP THE GEAR POSITION LIGHTS. HE ATTEMPTED TO REACH A FLASHLIGHT IN THE COCKPIT, BUT UNKNOWINGLY BANKED THE AIRCRAFT TO THE RIGHT OF THE RUNWAY, COLLIDED WITH SOME TREES, THEN COLLIDED WITH THE TERRAIN. THIS TYPE OF AIRCRAFT WAS DESIGNED TO AUTOMATICALLY DIM THE GEAR POSITION LIGHTS WHEN THE PANEL LIGHTS WERE ACTIVATED, TO REDUCE COCKPIT GLARE.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN PROPER RUNWAY ALIGNMENT DURING A GO-AROUND. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE LANDING GEAR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM.

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