NTSB Identification: SEA93FA010.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47776.
Accident occurred Sunday, October 25, 1992 in LOWMAN, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-12, registration: N3743M
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT OF THE PIPER PA-12 SPENT ABOUT 45 MINUTES MANEUVERING AT LOW LEVEL IN AND AROUND STEEP CANYONS IN THE ROUGH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. HE THEN LANDED AT THE REMOTE FOREST SERVICE AIRSTRIP, AND SPENT ABOUT AN HOUR ON THE GROUND. AFTER DEPARTURE FROM THE AIRSTRIP, THE AIRCRAFT WAS OBSERVED FLYING LESS THAN 50 FEET ABOVE TREETOP LEVEL ALONG AN UNEVEN FORESTED RIDGE. WITNESSES INDICATED THAT, ALTHOUGH THEY LOST SIGHT OF THE AIRCRAFT BEHIND SOME TREES ABOUT FIVE SECONDS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT, THE ENGINE SOUNDED AS IF IT WAS RUNNING SMOOTHLY, AND AT OR NEAR FULL POWER, UNTIL THEY HEARD THE NOISE FROM THE IMPACT.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE TERRAIN CLEARANCE. FACTORS INCLUDE MOUNTAINOUS/HILLY TERRAIN, TREES, AND THE PILOT'S DIVERTED ATTENTION.

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