NTSB Identification: ATL03LA015.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 07, 2002 in Fayette, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N8389Y
Injuries: 1 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.

Upon arriving at the destination airport the pilot was unable to activate the runway lights. According to witnesses, the runway lights at the airport were inoperative. In an effort to facilitate a night landing, the pilot requested assistance from the local sheriff department. The sheriff's department requested assistance of friends and employees of the airport to align their vehicles along the side of the runway and turned on their headlights to illuminate the runway. The pilot made two unsuccessful attempts to land. On the third attempt the airplane landed and struck one of the cars parked along the side of the runway. The airplane rolled over, and slid down the runway. The airplane came to rest inverted. There is no record of the pilot obtaining notice to airmen regarding the inoperative runway lights. Examination of the airplane revealed that the left wing was separated from the airplane. The pilot did not report any mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

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

The pilot's poor inflight decision to land on a non illuminated runway, and the pilot's failure to maintain clearance during an attempted night landing that resulted in an on ground collision with a parked car. A factor was the light condition.

Full narrative available

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