NTSB Identification: FTW94FA183.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 28, 1994 in BATTLE MOUNTAIN, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/12/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 320E, registration: N3472Q
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
SHEEPHERDERS NEAR THE ACCIDENT SITE REPORTED OBSERVING THE TWIN ENGINE AIRPLANE PERFORMING LOW LEVEL MANEUVERS IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR THEIR VICINITY. THEY LATER HEARD THE SOUND OF GROUND IMPACT. THE RESTRICTED CATEGORY AIRPLANE WAS EQUIPPED WITH ELECTRONIC SURVEYING EQUIPMENT FOR LOW LEVEL AIRBORNE MAGNETIC MAPPING FOR MINERAL EXPLORATION. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED ON THE EASTERN SLOPE OF A BOX CANYON AT THE 7,000 FOOT ELEVATION. COMPONENTS AND GROUND SCARS WERE FOUND ALONG A 220 FOOT LONG PATH ON THE 42 TO 65 DEGREE DOWN SLOPE OF THE CANYON WALL. THE MISSION PROFILE WAS TO CONDUCT A SERIES OF LOW LEVEL FLIGHTS AT ALTITUDES RANGING FROM 200 TO 500 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE, ENGINES, AND TURBOCHARGERS, DID NOT REVEAL ANY MECHANICAL ANOMALIES.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN TERRAIN CLEARANCE WHILE MANEUVERING DURING A LOW LEVEL AERIAL MAPPING FLIGHT. A FACTOR WAS THE BOX CANYON. Full narrative available
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