January 31, Tehachapi, Calif. / Piper Cherokee 140


At 1836 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28-140 struck terrain while on approach to Tehachapi Municipal Airport. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight departed Long Beach for Redding, but diverted to Tehachapi due to weather en route and at Redding. The pilot stated that he was approaching the airport on the extended centerline on a long final. He noticed a red light between his airplane and the runway and thought it was another airplane. He followed the light to the airport. As he got closer, he saw that the red light marked terrain and he immediately made a sharp, right, climbing turn to avoid contact. However, the airplane impacted the mountain and came to rest inverted on the other side.


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