On September 5, 1997, about 2039 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N4982S, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at the Brandywine Airport, West Chester, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that was conducted on a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight plan. The flight originated at Columbus, Ohio, about 1810, and was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot reported that he entered a left downwind for runway 27. The approach and before landing checklists were completed and as he turned final the approach was stabilized. Upon very short final the runway lights disappeared from view. The pilot added full power and pitched the nose up for a go-around. The airplane struck the terrain about 2 to 4 seconds after full power was applied and the nose pitched up. The airplane struck terrain about 15 feet below the level of the runway.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined the accident site and airplane. He reported that the airplane touched down about 30 feet prior to the runway, and about 5 feet below the level of the runway, on rising terrain. Both main landing gear penetrated the upper skin of the wing, were sheared off, and both wing spars were bent. The nose landing gear collapsed rearward.

The investigation revealed that runway 27 was 3,007 feet long, 50 feet wide, and had low intensity runway edge lights. The terrain at the end of the runway sloped down.

The pilot reported the winds were calm. The pilot reported his total time as 213.3 hours with 32.6 hours at night.

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