NTSB Identification: LAX91LA319.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45291.
Accident occurred Thursday, July 18, 1991 in PATTERSON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/13/1993
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N23142
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

THE PILOT AND HIS PASSENGER WERE FLYING IN THE VICINITY OF A RIVER AND A POND TRYING TO LOCATE STRAY CATTLE. THEY WERE FLYING AT ABOUT 400 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND WHEN THE PASSENGER THOUGHT HE SPOTTED SOMETHING AT THE NORTH END OF A POND. NOT BEING ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE OBJECT, THEY BEGAN A DESCENT TO TRY TO IDENTIFY THE OBJECT. DURING DESCENT THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION WIRES. THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED AN UNCONTROLLED DESCENT AND IMPACTED THE WATER IN THE POND. THEY SAID THAT THEY DID NOT SEE THE WIRES OR SUPPORTING POLES. AN FAA SAFETY INSPECTOR REPORTED THAT 3 WIRES HAD BEEN BROKEN. THE POLES ARE ON LAND AND THEY ARE APPROXIMATELY 1,140 FEET APART.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S IMPROPER VISUAL LOOKOUT IN A DESCENT AT LOW ALTITUDE, RESULTING IN AN IN FLIGHT COLLISION WITH WIRES AND SUBSEQUENT IN FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TERRAIN.

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