NTSB Identification: LAX98LA054.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 24, 1997 in STOIL, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65, registration: N91915
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot desired to become an agricultural pilot and was practicing low passes over a field. The pilot failed to see three power transmission cables and the airplane struck a 300-foot-span of number 8 gauge copper conductor suspended about 45 to 50 feet above the ground with its propeller. An in-flight fire erupted in the cockpit area. The fire was located at a break in a fuel line from the fuel selector valve to the engine. The pilot suffered second and third degree burns to his face, arms, and left leg and landed the airplane hard, collapsing one of the main landing gear. He egressed the airplane unaided while the fire spread destroying the airplane. There was no evidence of mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane before the collision with power transmission cables.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate obstacle clearance and his inadequate visual outlook.. Factors were a severed fuel line which resulted in an in-flight fire, which diminished the pilot's ability to land the airplane with smoke and fire in the cockpit.

Full narrative available

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