NTSB Identification: ERA09CA007
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 07, 2008 in Chester, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2008
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR20, registration: N889LD
Injuries: 1 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.

The accident flight was the first time the pilot was landing at the privately owned, publicly used airport, with non-standard runway lighting. The pilot was concerned with the runway length and steep drop-off at the end of the runways. The landing runway was 2,566 feet long, 50 feet wide, and was not equipped with a visual slope indicator. Upon his approach to the destination airport, the pilot noted that the runway lights were dim. The night was especially dark for the pilot, limiting his visual cues. The pilot landed hard, on up-sloping terrain, 6 feet short of where the runway’s pavement began. Both main landing gear brake system were damaged in the process. The pilot was not able to brake or steer the airplane. The airplane veered off to the left, went through a fiberglass fence, and down an embankment before coming to a stop into several pine trees.

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

The pilot’s failure to obtain the proper touchdown point while landing. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s inexperience landing at the airport, night conditions, and non-standard runway lighting.

Full narrative available

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