On January 16, 1996, at 1720 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-22, N913A, was substantially damaged during a landing at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport, Auburn, Maine. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal transportation flight, which originated at Presque Isle, Maine, at 1330, and was operated under 14 CFR Part 91.

In the NTSB Accident Report, the pilot stated:

Left PQI [Presque Isle, Maine] 1330. flew VFR at 4500' [feet]. Weather underneath that eventually blocked view of ground. Spoke with BGR [Bangor] FSS (122.2) three or more times re weather en route and at Lewiston.

Ceiling 1100 [feet] at Lewiston, 1.5 mi[le] visibility when I arrived. Radio clicking brought no response from runway lights (MX-11 radio and handheld). Low on fuel, and with info that Waterville was down to 800'[feet] and Augusta was deteriorating quickly, felt tantamount to emergency.

I saw two red light at north end of runway and also (it seemed) at south end. Landed runway 22, suddenly saw south end red lights left of my path, so turned nose [toward] them. Hit snow, lurched, and nosed up. Second set of lights were on some obstruction left of runway.

In a written report, an FAA Inspector stated:

...Marginal VFR weather conditions prevailed during this flight...Winds enroute were generally from the southwest at 45 Kts...At approximately 1330 after topping his aircraft with fuel (36 gallons) he departed VFR for Aurburn-Lewiston.

Arriving in the Auburn area. Mr. Daly stated, 'I was low on fuel (approximately 3 gallons remaining). I had encountered strong winds enroute and had to do a considerable amount of vectoring around snow showers.'

Mr. Daly stated, 'I was unable to activate the runway lights at Lewiston. I then remembered my push to talk switch on my transmitter was loose. I tried my hand held transmitter and that would not turn on the lights either....

Investigation, seems to indicate that Mr. Daly used the red threshold light of runway 22, however instead of using the red threshold lights at the end of runway 22 he used a line of red obstruction lights that are located on a hill to the left of runway 22 (east). These lights are located approximately 1000 feet left of the centerline of the runway (see diagram).

The aircraft touched down 30 feet before runway 22 at a thirty degree angle to the left, struck a snow bank coming to rest on the prop and right wing. Due to recent snow fall the snow was deep, three feet.

No mechanical problems were found by the FAA inspectors....

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