NTSB Identification: BFO96FA010.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 08, 1995 in BIRD-IN-HAND, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/11/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N6360W
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 pilot reported that he was practicing simulated instrument flight with a safety pilot, when the airplane struck high tension power lines about 2.5 miles east of the destination airport. He stated that he was wearing foggles, and the safety pilot was present to provide guidance to the runway. The pilot stated that he had flown simulated IFR approaches with the safety pilot on other occasions, and found the safety pilot helpful. Also, the pilot noted that the safety pilot was less helpful during the accident flight than his previous experiences had led him to expect. The pilot stated that, although he was unsure of his position in the pattern, he continued his descent, until he heard '...a shrill whine... .' as the airplane contacted the power line cables. Just before impact, the safety pilot took over the flight controls and initiated evasive action, but to no avail. After collided with the power lines, the airplane fell to the ground. During postaccident examination at the accident site, pieces of 9 gauge steel wire were found in the engine compartment. The pilot reported that there was no preimpact mechanical malfunction. Pathological and toxicological examination of the safety pilot reflected no evidence of a preimpact incapacitating problem.

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

the pilot's (PIC's) improper in-flight planning/decision concerning simulated instrument flight during the traffic pattern/descent; and failure of the safety pilot (other crewmember) to provide adequate visual lookout to see-and-avoid the obstruction.

Full narrative available

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