Approach Lights Off During Fatal Crash

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The approach lights to Runway 5 at New Bedford (Mass.) Regional Airport were turned off last Friday night when a Socata TBM 700 crashed on approach in rain and fog, killing all three people on board. The lights were functional but had been turned off last August because overgrown vegetation "obscured and distorted" the lights, according to the New Bedford Standard-Times. New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang had asked the FAA in January to deal with the problem so the lights could be turned back on. Lang now has asked the FAA to get the lights back on immediately, but stressed that was to reassure pilots who use the airport. "I have no information to conclude the lights had any bearing on what happened," he told the newspaper. "No information whatsoever." The lights are in a marshy area that is thick with tall grasses and trees, which could take several weeks to clear. The NTSB is investigating the crash.