NTSB Identification: FTW99LA108.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 04, 1999 in MIDLOTHIAN, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N8963V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The 80 hour pilot collided with unmarked powerlines while maneuvering at low altitude at dusk. The operator reported that soon after departure, the pilot encountered lowering ceilings while en route to a nearby non-towered airport. The ceilings continued to drop to about 300 feet, when the pilot elected to execute a 180 degree turn and return to Grand Prairie. While en route, the pilot heard a loud pop and saw a bright flash of light. The engine sputtered, but then continued to run normally. The pilot reported that he was following the railroad tracks southbound at low altitude en route to the non-towered airport when he collided with powerlines. The location of the collision with the wires was located by the FAA inspectors with the assistance of the power company. The broken wire was found at the location where the railroad tracks make a shallow right turn. The powerline was suspended 28 feet above the tracks. Paint transfers on portions of the severed wire matched the color scheme of the wings. The damage to the right wing matches the southbound right turn scenario described by the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the powerlines. Factors were the low ceilings and the dusk light illumination.

Full narrative available

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