The pilot reported that, while landing at night at the airport in St. Joseph, Illinois, the threshold and right side runway lights were out of service.
He added that he “must have been closer to the ground than he estimated” on approach because the Piper PA-28 landed flat.
Subsequently, the nose landing gear collapsed, the airplane veered left, and he attempted to correct with right rudder.
The airplane came to rest left of the runway in an adjacent cornfield.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in the nose landing gear collapsing and subsequent loss of directional control.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA452
This July 2017 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.