ntsb.gif (3044 bytes) NTSB ACCIDENT REPORT:
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NTSB Identification: LAX04CA236.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 02, 2004 in Dunsmuir, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 9/29/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N39678
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On June 2, 2004, at 1300 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-181, N39678, overran runway 32 and collided with a berm during landing at the Dunsmuir Municipal - Mott Airport, Dunsmuir, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed for the cross-country flight that originated from Novato, California, at 1120. The flight was destined for Weed, California.

According to the pilot's written statement, she terminated her VFR flight plan after passing Redding's very high frequency omni-directional range (VOR) navigation system. When she cancelled her flight plan, she was informed that she was about 30 miles south of her destination airport (Weed is approximately 58 miles north-northwest of the Redding VOR). As the pilot proceeded along her route, she noticed an airport with the runway numbers 32/14, which happened to be the same runway numbers for Weed.

The pilot overflew the airport, and thought that it was her planned destination airport. She landed the airplane, but could not stop the airplane prior to the departure end. The airplane departed the runway, overran a ditch, and impacted a small hill, where it came to rest. The airplane sustained structural damage to the fuselage and landing gear system. The pilot reported that there were no anomalies with the airplane and its engine prior to the accident.

Review of the Klamath Falls sectional aeronautical chart revealed that Dunsmuir's airport was 15 miles southeast of Weed's airport. Dunsmuir's airport elevation is 3,258 feet mean sea level (msl), and Weed's airport elevation is 2,938 feet msl. To the north of Dunsmuir (by 9 miles), and to the east of Weed (by 12 miles), stands Mt. Shasta at 14,162 feet msl. Runway 32/14 at Dunsmuir is 2,700 feet long and 60 feet wide. Runway 32/14 at Weed is 5,000 feet long and 60 feet wide. The pilot reported that the visibility was 10+ miles and the sky was clear.

Photographs taken at the accident site revealed that the flaps were in the retracted position. Review of the PA-28-181 pilot operating handbook's (POH) landing distance performance chart revealed that the airplane's landing distance (at maximum gross weight with full flaps extended, and the atmospheric conditions experienced by the pilot) should have been no more than 1,100 feet.