Date & Time: Oct 10, 1997 at 1900 LT
Type of aircraft:
Piper PA-46 (Malibu/Meridian/Mirage/M-Class)
Landing (descent or approach)
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Following a three hours IFR flight, the pilot, also owner of the aerodrome, made a left hand visual circuit at an altitude of 600 feet for runway 26. On final with flaps down two notches, the right side of the airframe and the wing root struck the top of a tree about 80 metres from the runway threshold and 30 metres to the right of its extended centerline. The aircraft struck the ground hard, went out of control and came to rest in a grassy area parallel to the runway. All five occupants evacuated safely while the aircraft was destroyed.
The pilot indicated to investigators that in order to avoid flying over a grove to the left and upstream of the threshold of runway 26, he used to make the final at a heading of 245°/250° and to the right of the approach path. On the day of the accident, by the time the airplane collided with trees, he had lost visual contact with the runway while his speed was low and the pitch attitude was too high. He thinks he had a somewhat late reaction, probably due to week end fatigue.