NTSB Identification: NYC96FA061.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 09, 1996 in FORKS TOWNSHIP, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Cessna P206A, registration: N4655F
Injuries: 1 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 pilot/owner had flown a round-trip between his base airport and another airport during the day. He flew another round-trip that evening. During the return leg, the airplane struck the top of an unlighted 928 feet mean sea level (MSL) tower 2 miles from the destination airport. The destination airport field elevation is 399 feet MSL. The recommended pattern altitude for the airport was 1,400 feet MSL. The tower lighting was listed out of service by a NOTAM issued 15 days prior to the accident. There was no record of the pilot receiving a weather briefing or NOTAMs. No temporary repairs to restore the tower lighting had been initiated. The 928 feet MSL tower was depicted on the VFR navigation chart with the symbol for group obstructions. Another 775 feet MSL tower was positioned on the same hill, about 2,100 feet east of the 928 feet MSL tower. The top of that tower was illuminated by a single flashing red light. The FAA did not have the authority to deny or approve construction of obstructions to air navigation, or to mandate the marking and lighting of the obstructions, or the repair of lighting outages. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) did require marking and lighting of radio towers with licensed FCC transmitters. The FCC did not publish a time limit in which lighting outage had to be repaired.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain a proper altitude, and insufficient obstruction lighting requirements established by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.

Full narrative available

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