NTSB Identification: LAX00LA298.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 13, 2000 in GRASS VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N16411
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On a bright night, the pilot attempted to land on runway 07. At the time, the runway lights were not operating. On final approach, the pilot failed to attain alignment with the desired runway and lined up with a parallel taxiway. About 20 feet above the ground the pilot increased engine power attempting to correct the misalignment. However, the airplane touched down in rough terrain next to the runway. Thereafter, the airplane veered into a ditch and came to rest against a berm. The pilot indicated that he was familiar with the airport, having been based there during the previous 10 years. He indicated a lack of awareness that a NOTAM had been recently issued indicating the airport was closed for night operations. The pilot's airplane contained adequate fuel to proceed to nearby alternate airports.

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

The pilot's failure to attain proper alignment with the runway during approach for landing. Contributing factors were the pilot's inadequate and improper preflight planning and in-flight decision.

Full narrative available

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