NTSB Identification: LAX91LA068.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43150.
Accident occurred Sunday, January 06, 1991 in UKIAH, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N737FJ
Injuries: 4 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 PILOT SAID HE WAS FLYING DOWN A RIVER VALLEY AT ABOUT 800 FT AGL AS HE AND HIS PASSENGERS WERE LOOKING OVER POTENTIAL TIMBER CUTTING AREAS. THE FLIGHT CROSSED A SADDLE IN THE MOUNTAINS WHICH REDUCED THE GROUND CLEARANCE TO ABOUT 300 FT. SUDDENLY, HE SAW AN UNMARKED HIGH TENSION POWER LINE DIRECTLY AHEAD. HE INITIATED A DIVING LEFT TURN IN AN ATTEMPT TO AVOID THE WIRE; HOWEVER, THE OUTBOARD RIGHT WING STRUCK THE WIRE. THE PILOT SAID THE OUTBOARD RIGHT WING SUSTAINED A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF DAMAGE AND CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS DIFFICULT IN THE ROLL AXIS. THE PILOT FLEW THE AIRCRAFT TO UKAIH, WHERE A SUCCESSFUL LANDING WAS MADE. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, THE POWER LINE CROSSED PERPENDICULAR TO THE VALLEY WITH THE LINE SUSPENDED FROM TOWERS ON TOP OF RIDGES ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE VALLEY.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN AN ADEQUATE CLEARANCE FROM GROUND OBSTRUCTIONS. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS: FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN AN ALTITUDE SUFFICIENT TO CLEAR ALL OBSTRUCTIONS ALONG HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT.

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