ERA09CA196
ERA09CA196

The recently certificated private pilot of the Piper PA-28-161 was returning to the airport, after a local flight under dark night visual meteorological conditions. To avoid hitting trees, the pilot flew a higher then normal final approach to runway 34. Runway 34 was 3,200 feet long, 100 feet wide, consisted of a turf surface, and had lighting. The pilot landed beyond the normal touchdown zone area, and then firmly applied the brakes. The left tire "locked up" and the airplane departed the left side of the runway, where it impacted a tree-lined ditch. The airplane received substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. Examination of the airplane did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any. The reported wind at a nearby airport, about the time of the accident, was from 250 degrees at 5 knots. The pilot reported 83.6 hours of total flight experience; of which, 15.1 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane and 4.4 hours were at night.

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