On October 14, 1998, at about 1145 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32RT, N39525, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, registered to a private owner crashed on landing rollout at the Vidalia Municipal Airport, Vidalia, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and one passenger reported no injuries. The flight originated from Fort Pierce, Florida, about 1 hour before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated he received a full weather briefing and checked NOTAMS for his destination airport from an FAA Automated Flight Service Station. No NOTAMS were issued during the briefing for runway 24 at the Vidalia Municipal Airport. He obtained traffic advisories from Jacksonville approach and Jacksonville Center before making a VFR visual approach to Vidalia Municipal Airport. He attempted to contact Vidalia UNICOM before landing with negative results. He made a VFR approach to runway 24. The left main landing gear collided with a barrier, and the landing gear collapsed.
Telephonic communication with Miami, Gainesville, and St. Petersburg Automated Flight Service Stations, revealed the pilot of N39525 did not obtain a weather briefing, check NOTAMS or file a flight plan on the day of the accident. Review of NOTAM information for Vidalia, runway 06/24 indicates the runways have been closed since July 16, 1998, at 1200Z.
Examination of the runway by the FAA revealed the left main landing gear hit a small orange and white colored barrier. The left landing gear folded under the airplane, the left wing collided with the runway, and the airplane skidded off the runway unto the grass. The FAA stated, "an inspection of the runway revealed that large "yellow Xs" were in place at the ends of runway 24/6. The yellow Xs were held in place with sand bags. Some sand had migrated from the sand bags onto the yellow Xs. Additional barriers were on runway 24/6 at the intersection of runway 13/31 to keep traffic from turning on the closed runway. These barriers were wrapped in an orange and white reflective material. The barriers also had yellow blinking lights attached to the top of the barriers. The yellow blinking lights are only activated at night. The closed runway was properly marked in accordance with the Aeronautical Information Manual, Chapter 2."