CEN11LA153
CEN11LA153

**This report was modified on 3/10/2011. Please see the docket for this accident to see the earlier version**


On January 16, 2011, approximately 2000 central standard time, a Cessna 172A, N7262T, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain 1 mile east of Smiley Johnson Municipal/Bass Field (E34), Clarendon, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot, the sole occupant on board the airplane, was seriously injured. The cross-country flight originated at Abilene Regional Airport (ABI), Abilene, Texas, approximately at 1820, and was en route to E34.

When the pilot did not return as scheduled, family members became concerned. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an ALNOT (Alert Notice) on January 16 at 2345. The wreckage was found on January 17 approximately 0900. The pilot, who was still strapped to the overturned airplane, was transported to a hospital with a fractured leg and other unspecified injuries.

In a hospital, and in follow-up interviews, the pilot said that he had full fuel on board the airplane, and he got a weather briefing prior to departing Abilene for Clarendon. En route weather was good. It was dark when he arrived at Clarendon. He saw the airport's rotating beacon but was unable to activate the runway lights. He turned downwind for landing, lowered the flaps and reduced power. He thought he was 900 feet above the ground when the airplane impacted terrain approximately 2-1/2 miles east of the airport. A FAA inspector who went to the scene reported finding the airplane's altimeter indicating 7,500 feet, whereas terrain at the accident site was approximately 2,800 feet msl (above mean sea level). No other anomalies were found.

The pilot was asked on several occasions to complete and return a NTSB Form 6120.1-2, Pilot-Operator Aircraft Accident Report. He refused.

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