NTSB Identification: LAX04LA090.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 06, 2004 in California City, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-180, registration: N3820T
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.

The single-engine airplane encountered a ditch while taxiing for takeoff resulting in the collapse of the right main landing gear. The pilot stated that it was a dark night and he was relying on the landing light to help guide him down a taxiway parallel to the runway, as the airport was not equipped with taxiway edge lighting. While taxiing, the landing light suddenly turned off and he was unable to see his outside surroundings. The pilot inadvertently taxied off the left side of the taxiway, where the airplane encountered the ditch located in the dirt median. With the exception of the landing light, no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane were reported.

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

the pilot's decision to continue taxiing during dark night conditions without an operable taxi/landing light or taxiway lights and his failure to maintain taxiway alignment. Contributing factors to the accident were the dark night light conditions, the failed landing light, and the lack of taxiway lights.

Full narrative available

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