NTSB Identification: CHI96LA130.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 12, 1996 in PERRY, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 177B, registration: N19884
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with electrical power lines that were about 700 feet downstream from a dam and about 125 feet above water. The surviving passenger stated that he and the pilot had consumed some beer at his home. After consuming the beer, the passenger said they went to a local restaurant and lounge remaining there until about 0130. The passenger said he and the pilot left the restaurant with two friends that they had met at the restaurant. One of the friends bought a 12 pack of beer en route to the airport. The pilot and three passengers flew for about an hour before descending near a dam. The passenger said the pilot told him he wanted to get a closer look at the dam. Also, the passenger said that before the airplane crashed, he saw the dam above the airplane's front window, then he heard the airplane hit something and saw sparks. Toxicology tests at the FAA CAMI laboratory showed the pilot had ethanol levels of 130 mg/dl in blood, 135 mg/dl in vitreous fluid, and 179 mg/dl in urine.

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

the pilot's impairment of judgment and performance due to alcohol, and his failure to maintain altitude/clearance from the power transmission wires. Darkness, restricting the pilot's ability to see-and-avoid the transmission line, was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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