NTSB Identification: FTW98LA075.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 23, 1997 in MONTICELLO, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N1596V
Injuries: 1 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.

While on a cross-country flight, the newly certificated private pilot became lost and disoriented and failed to follow instructions for assistance by air traffic control. During maneuvering flight in the vicinity of a city, he flew the aircraft in close proximity to the ground and struck power lines. Light condition was night, and visibility was 7 miles. Approximately 200 pounds of marijuana was found in the rear seat of the aircraft by sheriff's deputies. Investigation revealed the pilot had 63 hours total flight time 3.2 hours of which were at night. His private pilot certificate was issued less than 2 weeks before the accident, and he had no previous flight experience in the area where the accident occurred.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude and clearance from obstacles. Also causal was the pilot becoming lost and disoriented. Contributing factors were his lack of familiarity with the geographical area, lack of experience, night conditions, and power lines

Full narrative available

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