On September 19, 2001, at 0654 eastern standard time, a Beech 200, N711MZ, piloted by an airline transport pilot, sustained substantial damage during an on-ground collision with the instrument approach light system for runway 23L (10,000 feet by 150 feet, grooved concrete) while landing at the Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis, Indiana. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 and was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The pilot and eight passengers reported no injuries. The flight departed the Statesville Municipal Airport, Statesville, North Carolina, at 0605 eastern daylight time.

According to the pilot's written statement, the weather was IFR with heavy rain and a reported visibility of 1 1/2 statute miles. The pilot reported that he had the approach light system in sight at the outer marker. The pilot stated, "Heavy rain and struck approach lights. Landed ok (moderate chop) about 300 yards from end of runway."

According to a written statement provided by a pilot-rated passenger, "I am going on a few trips in the King Air [Beech 200] to gain experience. I was working the radios on this trip. We were shooting the ILS [Instrument Landing System] 32 Left approach at Indianapolis. We broke out of clouds, but with heavy rain. I saw the lead in lights to the runway and told the pilot. Then, he said he also had it [the lead in lights], and the runway. I also saw part of the runway. It then was blurry with the rain getting worse it seemed. I asked the pilot if he still had the runway. He said he did, so we proceeded. We then struck the approach lights, or some other lights. It seemed to be choppy before the incident."

The airplane landed 621 feet short of the runway threshold.

A weather observation station, located on the airport, reported the weather at 0655 as:

Observation Time: 0655
Wind: 190 degrees magnetic at 13 knots
Visibility: 3 statute miles
Present Weather: Light rain from a thunderstorm
Sky Condition: 700 feet above ground level (agl) broken
1,200 feet agl overcast
Temperature: 20 degrees Celsius
Dew Point: 20 degrees Celsius
Pressure: 29.72 inches-of-mercury
Remarks: Thunderstorm began at 0630
Ceiling variable between 400-1,100 feet agl
Occasional in-cloud lighting northeast of the airport
Thunderstorm northeast of the airport moving northeast
Precipitation 1.8 inches since last hourly observation

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