NTSB Identification: MIA99LA194.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 10, 1999 in JASPER, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N2619V
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

About 22 miles from the airport the pilot said the airplane's electrical system became inoperative, resulting in a total loss of electrical power. The pilot was unable to activate the runway lights at the airport, because the airplane's radios were inoperative, and he could not activate the runway lighting system. The pilot stated he found the airport, but could not see the runway. He decided to land without any lights. He adjusted the flaps to no avail, because the flaps were electric. Just before touching down he could see the white strips on the runway to his left. The airplane touched down, but the right landing gear was off the runway on the grass. He applied power to make a second attempt. On the second landing, when he saw the white strips, he was 'right on them,' flared, but bounced, and the airplane floated. When he touched down again, 'the plane felt as if it was skidding sideways,' and he decided to go around again. He said, 'I guess I must have become somewhat disoriented, as I banked left much too soon thinking I remembered trees at the end of the runway. At that moment I saw the outlines of tree tops in front of me. I tried to pick the lowest point, but struck one. The plane began to tumble, and the I was on the ground hanging upside down from the seat belt.' A test run was performed on the engine and no discrepancies were found. The alternator and voltage regulator were tested, and both units bench checked with no defects.

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

the pilot inadvertently became disoriented and misjudged his position on the runway/airport, which resulted in him turning the airplane too soon, and subsequently impacting with a tree. Factors in this accident were a loss of electrical power for undetermined reasons, resulting in the pilot not being able to activate the runway lights, and no visual cues due to a dark night.

Full narrative available

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