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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.

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General details
Date: 09 December 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 2105  
Location:Melbourne Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria  
Release date: 12 May 1987 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
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
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