NTSB Identification: CHI97LA194.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 04, 1997 in KARLIN, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/04/1998
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N2416D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

Witnesses observed the airplane flying at low altitude. One witness said the pilot made 3 low passes over or near her home. She said the airplane '...pulled straight up...' and eventually leveled off during the third pass. Another witness observed the airplane pass by the front of (his) house below 100 feet AGL. He said the engine was not sputtering and '...appeared to be functioning properly.' Subsequently, the airplane struck the top (ground) wires of a high tension electrical power line. Shortly after the collision, it impacted a dirt road beneath the wires and began burning. An on-scene examination revealed no anomalies with the flight controls or engine that would have prevented flight. Two ground wires were entangled in the wreckage. Toxicology tests detected ethanol in the pilot's blood at a level of 141.000 mg/dL (0.141%) and in the vitreous fluid at 163 mg/dl (0.163%). Testing also detected tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (an inactive metabolite of marijuana) in the pilot's blood at a level of 0.002 mcg/ml.

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, his resultant improper planning/decision, and his inadequate visual lookout while buzzing, which resulted in failure to see-and-avoid the top (ground/static) wires of an electrical power line.

Full narrative available

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