Shallow approach, poor landing

This July 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Lance. Injuries: None. Location: Sedona, Ariz. Aircraft damage: Minor.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, who was attempting to land, said he flew the approach at a shallow angle, which caused him to lose sight of the runway lights during the landing flare.

The airplane drifted to the left, and the left main landing gear touched down in the dirt next to the runway. The airplane veered left and hit a runway sign.

The pilot wasn’t aware that he had hit the sign and was able to correct back to the center of the runway. The remainder of landing roll and taxi were uneventful.

The damage to the underside of the left wing and the sign was not found until the following day.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain runway alignment during approach and subsequent loss of directional control during landing.

For more information: NTSB Identification: WPR10CA342



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