NTSB Identification: FTW95FA259.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 26, 1995 in BEN WHEELER, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N4963H
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.

THE AIRCRAFT HAD BEEN FULLY FUELED BEFORE TWO LARGE INDIVIDUALS WITH THEIR EQUIPMENT GOT INTO THE AIRCRAFT FOR AN AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC FLIGHT IN THE LOCAL AREA. THE MANUFACTURERS RECOMMENDED MAXIMUM GROSS TAKEOFF WEIGHT FOR THIS AIRCRAFT IS 1,675 POUNDS AND THE CALCULATED TAKEOFF WEIGHT WAS 1,764.3 POUNDS. WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE 'FLYING MUCH TOO LOW AND SLOW JUST ABOVE THE TREES.' THE WITNESSES STATED THAT 'THE PLANE SURE DID WOBBLE' AND IT APPEARED TO THEM THAT 'THE AIRPLANE WAS GOING TO SLOW TO STAY UP.' ANOTHER WITNESS OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE'S 'MOTOR WAS CUTTING OUT' AND 'THEN HE HIT THE TREE THEN THE GROUND.' ANOTHER WITNESS OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE GO 'STRAIGHT DOWN' AND THAT 'HE DID NOT CLIP A TREE.' THE AIRPLANE CAME TO REST ON THE NORTH EDGE OF A GROUP OF TREES 25 TO 30 FEET HIGH IN A NOSE DOWN POSITION. AN EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED NO INDICATIONS OF ANOMALIES THAT COULD HAVE AFFECTED ITS PERFORMANCE. THE FLAPS WERE FOUND IN A 7 DEGREE DOWN POSITION. LEAVES AND TWIGS WERE FOUND IN THE LEFT MAIN GEAR WHEEL FAIRING WHICH MATCHED THE LEAVES ON THE TREES AT THE ACCIDENT SITE.

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

THE PILOT'S INTENTIONAL LOW LEVEL FLYING AND NOT MAINTAINING A CLEARANCE FROM THE TREES. A FACTOR WAS THE PILOT EXCEEDED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE GROSS WEIGHT OF THE AIRPLANE.

Full narrative available

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