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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN11LA153
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 16, 2011 in Clarendon, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172A, registration: N7262T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, it was dark when he arrived at his destination. He saw the airport's rotating beacon but was unable to remotely activate the runway lights. He maneuvered the airplane onto the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, extended the flaps and reduced engine power. He thought the airplane was 900 feet above the ground when the airplane impacted terrain approximately 2-1/2 miles east of the airport. At the accident site, the altimeter read 7,500 feet. The terrain was approximately 2,800 feet. There were no mechanical anomalies found with the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to correctly set the altimeter, which resulted in his erroneous perception that the airplane was at a safe altitude.