NTSB Identification: WPR10CA372
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 12, 2010 in Garberville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N9353C
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 pilot reported that while on the base leg of the traffic pattern his view of the unfamiliar airport, located in a mountain valley, was inhibited due to a hill. As the airport came into view the pilot realized he was too high and he initiated a descent with reduced power and full flaps. The airplane approached the runway with higher than normal airspeed and by the time the airplane touched down; there was not enough runway to stop. The airplane exited the end of the runway and proceeded into a ditch, substantially damaging the firewall. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine prior to the accident. The pilot further stated the accident could have been prevented by familiarizing himself with the airport.

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

The pilot’s improper airspeed, misjudged approach, and failure to attain the proper touchdown point. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of familiarity with the airport.

Full narrative available

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