Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CEN22LA108

Lamesa, TX, USA

Aircraft #1


PIPER PA-22-150


During the night visual flight rules cross-country flight, the pilot monitored weather conditions on his tablet computer and observed “unspecified meteorological conditions,” which encompassed his intended destination. The pilot elected to divert to an alternate destination and climbed to 4,500 ft msl. The pilot noted that he had a kneeboard with destination airport information, and after diverting, he made notes denoting changes to reflect the new destination. He did not recall if he changed the pattern altitude for the new destination. He attributed this omission to distraction during the flight while he modified his flight plan via the airplane radio. As he approached the new destination, the horizon was not “definite,” but he could see the lights of the city and began a shallow descent. While descending, he noted that the city lights disappeared, and as he contemplated why this happened, the airplane struck the ground. He reported that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane before the accident and he “just flew it into the ground.” The field elevation at the original destination was 1,561 ft msl, and the elevation new destination was 2,999 ft msl.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain during a descent that resulted in an impact with terrain.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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