NTSB Identification: LAX93LA216.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 15, 1993 in VISALIA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/1994
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AA5, registration: N9520L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 COLLIDED WITH TRANSMISSION WIRES OVER A RIVER. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THE AIRPLANE CAUGHT ON FIRE AFTER COLLIDING WITH THE WIRES. THE PILOT LANDED THE AIRPLANE IN AN OPEN FIELD, AND IT WAS CONSUMED BY THE FIRE. A DEPUTY SHERIFF INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT NOTED A HEAVY ODOR OF ALCOHOL ON THE PILOT'S BREATH. THE PILOT WAS GIVEN A FIELD SOBRIETY TEST AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT AND LATER AT THE JAIL. HE FAILED THESE TESTS, AND THEN REFUSED TO TAKE A CHEMICAL BLOOD ALCOHOL TEST. WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, BLOOD WAS FORCIBLY TAKEN FROM THE PILOT FOR A TOXICOLOGICAL EXAM. THE BLOOD SAMPLE WAS TAKEN ABOUT 2 HRS 35 MIN AFTER THE ACCIDENT. THE RESULTS OF THE TEST WERE POSITIVE WITH A BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL OF 0.12%.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO SEE AND AVOID THE WIRES DUE TO ALCOHOL IMPAIRMENT. A FACTOR WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS UNWARRANTED LOW FLYING OVER THE RIVER.

Full narrative available

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