NTSB Identification: FTW96FA058.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 02, 1995 in HALLETT, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/17/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N98003
Injuries: 3 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 flight instructor, his student, and a passenger departed Stillwater Municipal Airport at 0120 for a night instructional cross country flight. They flew east climbing to 3,500 feet MSL and parallel to the Cimarron Turnpike. The Cimarron Turnpike, elevation 980 feet, is a 4 lane white cement highway with a 10 foot wide grass strip separating the east and westbound lanes. The spacing of the eastbound traffic, at that time of night, was 5 to 8 miles apart and the moon was approximately 85% full. At 0138:20, radar showed the airplane flying a descending box pattern over the turnpike culminating with impacting the 7/16 inch stainless steel static wires which were 64 feet over the turnpike. The airplane impacted on the eastbound lanes and slid east, 3 feet north of the center line and exactly parallel to it for a 162 feet. Moments before the impact, witnesses 'noticed a bright, single light practically directly behind' them. Because no other vehicles arrived at the accident scene for approximately 5 minutes, they believe the bright light they saw was that of the airplane.

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

The flight instructor's intentional low altitude flight maneuver. Factors were the static wire and the bright night condition.

Full narrative available

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