NTSB Identification: SEA98LA007.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 22, 1997 in DAMASCUS, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/13/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 185A, registration: N714
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.

According to radar data, the airplane, which had been acquired earlier that day by the pilot, descended slowly from level flight at 1200 feet MSL to 800 feet MSL before disappearing from radar. Wreckage was located in the immediate vicinity of the last radar target. Witnesses reported a loss of electrical power in their homes, followed by the sound of an increase in engine power from the airplane immediately before final impact. The crash occurred in dark night conditions on rising terrain. The airplane's heading was direct toward an airport with an operating control tower; an attempt had been made to initiate radio contact. Weather at nearby reporting stations was marginal for VFR flight operations. The airplane's equipment list noted navigational equipment sufficient for a non-precision instrument approach. No pre-crash mechanical deficiencies were noted during the investigation.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain sufficient altitude/clearance from terrain. Factors relating to the accident included: darkness, and hilly/mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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