NTSB Identification: LAX04CA115.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 29, 2004 in PLACERVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N28385
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While attempting to land, the airplane undershot the runway and collided with terrain short of the runway, shearing off the main landing gear. The student pilot was practicing night flying. While on final approach, the airplane was below the glide path and he attempted a go-around. The airplane's main gear collided with a berm located before the runway. The airplane bounced and the ELT (emergency locator transmitter) became activated. The impact sheered off the left main landing gear and the right main landing gear was still attached, but dangling from the strut. After testing the airplane's controllability, the certified flight instructor (CFI) determined it was in "flyable" condition and elected to return to the airport the flight originated from. He made a normal approach and started his rollout solely on the nose wheel. Although the airplane did not have any brakes, the airplane came to rest about three quarters of the way down the runway. The CFI did not report any mechanical malfunctions 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 failure to attain a proper glide path during the final approach and delayed go-around, resulting in an undershoot of the runway. The inadequate supervision of the flight and flight instructor's delayed remedial action was also causal.

Full narrative available

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