NTSB Identification: NYC93LA157.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 15, 1993 in BEACH HAVEN, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 305A, registration: N53136
Injuries: 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.

THIS WAS THE PILOT'S THIRD BANNER TOW FLIGHT OF THE DAY. THE FIRST AND SECOND BANNER DROPS WERE SUCCESSFUL. ON THE THIRD DROP, THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO RELEASE THE BANNER AND IT DRAGGED ON THE GROUND, THEN INTO THE WATER OF A NEARBY BAY. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT WHEN THE BANNER WENT INTO THE WATER, THE RESULTANT DRAG WAS TOO MUCH FOR THE AIRCRAFT TO OVERCOME. HE WAS UNABLE TO SUSTAIN FLIGHT, AND THE AIRPLANE CONTACTED THE WATER. THE PILOT STATED THAT UNKNOWN TO HIM, THE THIRD TOW LINE WAS 50 TO 75 FEET LONGER THAN THE OTHERS. DURING AN INVESTIGATION, THE TOW RELEASE MECHANISM WAS ACTUATED SIX TIMES (WITHOUT A LOAD), AND IT FUNCTIONED PROPERLY.

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

FAILURE OF THE BANNER RELEASE SYSTEM TO FUNCTION FOR AN UNDETERMINED REASON, WHICH RESULTED IN AN INABILITY OF THE AIRCRAFT TO SUSTAIN FLIGHT ONCE THE BANNER BEGAN DRAGGING IN THE WATER. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: LACK OF COORDINATION BETWEEN THE PILOT AND GROUND PERSONNEL TO INFORM THE PILOT OF THE EXTRA LENGTH OF THE TOW LINE.

Full narrative available

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