Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA 32-300, VH-CLF, Melbourne VIC, 9 December 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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Prior to DEPARTURE, the pilot had been made aware of a Notam advising pilots to disregard temporary displaced threshold markings for runway 27 at the destination. During the subsequent approach the pilot noticed red and white lighting, and associated this with the displaced threshold. It was his intention to land beyond these lights, which were in fact the runway approach lights. Very late in the approach the pilot realised he was too low, but before power could be applied the aircraft struck the lights, 180 metres short of the runway. The maingear legs were torn off and the nosegear collapsed before the aircraft slid to a halt on the side of the runway. The pilot had been confused by the Notam relating to the displaced threshold, but had not sought clarification prior to DEPARTURE. He had limited night flying experience and was unfamiliar with the presentation of High Intensity Approach Lighting. It was evident that during the approach he had focussed his attention on these lights, to the exclusion of the runway lighting.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 09 December 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 2105    
Location: Melbourne    
State: Victoria    
Release date: 12 May 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-32  
Aircraft registration VH-CLF  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Moorabbin VIC  
Departure time 2105  
Destination Melbourne VIC