LAX00LA065
LAX00LA065

On December 30, 1999, about 1820 hours Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-32-300, N1412T, sustained substantial damage when it touched down short of the runway while landing at Fallbrook, California. The owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The personal cross-country flight departed Corvalis, Oregon, at an unknown time, and made a stop for fuel in Sacramento, California, prior to continuing to the intended destination of Oceanside, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that he obtained the Oceanside weather via the ASOS and realized the weather was marginal. He flew over the Oceanside VOR and proceeded outbound on the 096-degree radial. He said clouds were below him and he could not always see the ground. As he began his base leg for runway 24, he lost sight of the airport, pulled up, and initiated a go-around. He contacted the Palomar Airport Air Traffic Control Tower and obtained their ATIS. Palomar was 700 feet overcast so he decided to divert to French Valley, California, about 30 miles away. As he turned north toward French Valley, he noticed the lights of the city of Fallbrook, California, and tuned into the airport's common traffic advisory frequency. A Cessna was in the traffic pattern and told this pilot there was no problem seeing the runway. The pilot entered the Fallbrook landing pattern and flew the visual approach for runway 18. He turned final, noted he was on the VASI (visual approach slope indicator), and completed the before landing checklist. He then noticed the VASI lights were red. He added full power and pulled up, but struck the ground about 20 feet short of the runway, separating the landing gear from the airplane. The pilot stated to FAA inspectors that he misjudged the approach.

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