NTSB Identification: CHI01LA321.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 22, 2001 in Carbondale, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/25/2003
Aircraft: Boeing Stearman B75N1, registration: N47964
Injuries: 2 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 was attempting a night landing on a sod area to the right side of the runway and landed approximately 150 feet to the right of the sod area in a cornfield. The pilot reported, "Because of ditch to left and low light conditions approach was to right of center of sod. Approach was 35 yards too far to right and when ground was in sight for landing, the tassels of a cornfield were mistaken for grass runway. A normal 3 point full stall landing was made to the tops of corn, proceeding for 100 feet and a very slow pitch over onto nose and back." According to an almanac of sun data, the sun set at 1854 and the end of civil twilight was at 1920. The Southern Illinois Airport Authority (SIAA) approved takeoff and landing operations on the sod area adjacent to runway 36R for two specific pilot/aircraft combinations. The memorandum did not have any additional limitations or provisions, including the restriction of operations after civil twilight. Subsequent to the accident, the SIAA mandated that all flight operations on the sod area would be during daylight hours only.

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

The pilot misjudged the proper alignment with the landing area. Contributing to the accident was the light conditions.

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