NTSB Identification: FTW04LA100.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 28, 2004 in Weatherford, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Murphy Glasair III, registration: N119JM
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On the day of the accident, the 543-hour private pilot landed at an unfamiliar airport and used the threshold markings as his touchdown point. He picked up a passenger, then departed and flew in the local area before returning to the airport later that evening. The pilot had never landed at this airport at night, but knew the runway was short and used the first set of runway lights as his touchdown point, since he could not see the threshold markings. He landed just beyond the first runway lights and applied normal braking. As the airplane continued down the runway, the pilot did not realized he was nearing the end of the runway and tried to abort the landing. The airplane got airborne, but immediately began to sink and it came to rest on an embankment on the opposite side of an interstate. Subsequent investigation of the privately owned (and not federally funded) airport and information provide by pilots based at the airport revealed that it was not uncommon for numerous runway lights (standard household bulbs) to be out of service. The pilot also reported that when he returned to the airport a week after the accident, he noted a gap in the distance between the northern end of the runway's lights and the southern end of the runway's lights. Four light fixtures were absent of light bulbs at the approach end of the runway and many of the light fixtures did not have protective coverings for the bulbs. Several of the uncovered bulbs had no dust or water marks indicating they had been recently replaced. The pilot stated that he most likely landed mid-field due to partial illumination of the runway lighting. He said, "If all the runway lights were illuminated the week before, this accident would not have happened."

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

The pilot's misjudgment of the runway distance due to his misperception of his location point on the runway.

Full narrative available

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