Diverted attention, damaged airplane

This October 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 Cherokee. Injuries: None. Location: Richmond, Ind. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was aware of a notice to airman (NOTAM) for the taxiway closure due to construction. While taxiing after landing on a closed and unbarricaded taxiway, the pilot noticed a flickering landing gear indicator light. When he diverted his attention to the indicator light, the plane veered off the closed taxiway and into a drainage ditch that was under construction adjacent to the taxiway.

Probable cause: The pilot’s diverted attention to a landing gear indicator light that led to a loss of directional control and subsequent impact with terrain while taxiing.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN11CA015

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