This July 2009 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: Hibbing, Minn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: At the time of the accident, the taxiway was closed for painting. There was a NOTAM specifying that the taxiway was closed. Temporary markings were being applied to the taxiway so it could be used as a temporary runway however, at the time of the accident, the main runway was still in use for normal operations. The pilot stated that he mistakenly identified the taxiway as the active runway when he saw the temporary runway markings. He discovered his error when the airplane crashed into a construction barricade during an attempt to takeoff.
Probable cause: The pilot mistakenly using a closed taxiway for takeoff, which resulted in the airplane striking a construction barricade.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: CEN09CA422
Dennis Reiley says
Was the NOTAM actually posted for viewing or relayed by radio? Why were the temporary runway markings on the taxiway not covered while the barricades were in place?
I’d place most of the blame on the airport, not the pilot. If the NOTAM was not properly posted none of the blame was the pilot’s.