NTSB Identification: ATL82DA177
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 26, 1982 in HIXSON, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1983
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-150, registration: N2604P
Injuries: 1 Minor.

THE PILOT ELECTED TO TAKEOFF ON A DARK NIGHT WITHOUT RUNWAY LIGHTS. HE STATED THAT THE RUNWAY LIGHTS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME SINCE THE OPERATOR WAS OUT OF TOWN. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT AND OTHER WITNESSES, AT LEAST PART OF THE AIRPORT ENVIRONMENT WAS ILLUMINATED BY THE LIGHTS NEAR THE APPROACH END OF RUNWAY 23. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE CLIMBED STRAIGHT AHEAD TO 400 FT AGL AFTER TAKING OFF FROM RUNWAY 23. REPORTEDLY AT THAT ALTITUDE, HE TURNED RIGHT, THEN BACK LEFT, INTENDING TO LAND ON RUNWAY 05. HE SAID THAT HE TURNED TO WHERE HE EXPECTED TO FIND THE RUNWAY AND BEGAN HIS DESCENT. THE LANDING LIGHT WAS NOT AS BRIGHT AS HE ANTICIPATED, THE VISIBILITY WAS RESTRICTED SLIGHTLY BY HAZE, AND THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF THE BALL PARK MADE IT DIFFICULT TO SEE. ALSO, HE REPORTED THAT MANY OF THE BALL PARK LIGHTS WERE TURNED OFF CAUSING A BLACK AREA WHICH WAS DISORIENTING. WHILE DESCENDING TO RUNWAY 05,THE PLANE STRUCK A TREETOP AND CAME TO REST IN A WOODED AREA.

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

JUDGMENT..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..HAZE/SMOKE


Contributing Factors

AIRPORT FACILITIES,RUNWAY EDGE LIGHTS..NOT OPERATING


Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LACK OF RECENT EXPERIENCE IN TYPE OF AIRCRAFT..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

VISUAL/AURAL DETECTION..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..TREE(S)

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