NTSB Identification: CHI98LA059.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 08, 1997 in INDEPENDENCE, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/08/1999
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30, registration: N4854V
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.

The airplane struck a guy wire attached to a 414-foot tower, about 375 feet above ground level. The tower was located along the route of flight, between Wichita, Kansas, and the pilot's stated destination of Harrison, Arkansas. The non-instrument rated pilot had called and obtained a telephone weather briefing for the proposed cross-country flight. The briefer advised that the existing and forecast weather was IMC with low ceilings and fog along the proposed route. A resident located about one-quarter mile from the accident site told authorities he heard the airplane engine, which became silent, followed by a 'big thud.' He estimated the ceiling to be about 200 to 300 feet, at that time. Subsequent examination of the airplane failed to reveal any pre-existing mechanical anomalies.

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

the pilot's intentional flight into adverse weather. Contributing factors were low ceilings, fog, and the guy wire.

Full narrative available

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