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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45983
Last updated: 17 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28RT-201
Registration: N2380U
MSN: 28R-7918252
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Manassas, VA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Leonardtown, MD (2W6)
Destination airport:Manassas, VA (HEF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The airplane was on a visual approach to the runway 38 minutes after official sunset, with no moon. The airplane approached the airport over rural, heavily wooded terrain that produced low levels of ambient light. Examination of radar data revealed the airplane approached the airport at 120 knots groundspeed, but descended at 1,200 feet per minute. The airplane struck trees and crashed less than 1/2 mile from the approach end of the runway. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the instrument lighting rheostat was in the full bright position, and that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the airplane. The pilot recorded two takeoffs and landings at night about 1 year prior to the accident. Previous to that, the pilot had not flown at night for 7 years. Examination of the environmental conditions at the time of the accident revealed that they were conducive to a "black hole approach", a night visual illusion that results in low approaches, and landings prior to the runway.
Probable Cause: The pilot's spatial disorientation due to a night visual illusion. A factor was the dark night condition.




Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
10-Dec-2017 10:48 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]

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