NTSB Identification: CHI91FA266.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45673.
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 13, 1991 in BOYNE CITY, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1992
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N6704V
Injuries: 1 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 WAS CONDUCTING LOCAL FLIGHT FOR THE PURPOSE OF FAMILIARIZATION IN THE AIRCRAFT AND TO DISPERSE ASHES OVER A LAKE. WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRCRAFT IN LOW LEVEL FLIGHT FOR A SHORT TIME PRIOR TO SEEING IT DESCEND AND IMPACT THE SURFACE OF THE LAKE. SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE PILOT WAS STRAPPED IN THE RIGHT SEAT WITH THE CABIN DOOR OPEN. THE SINGLE AXIS AUTO PILOT WAS ENGAGED IN THE HEADING MODE. THE LANDING GEAR WAS EXTENDED, ALTHOUGH THE LANDING GEAR SELECTOR WAS IN THE 'UP' POSITION. THE AIRPLANE WAS EQUIPPED WITH AN AUTOMATIC GEAR EXTENSION FEATURE. RESIDUE WAS LOCATED IN THE COCKPIT WHICH WAS IDENTIFIED AS CREMATED REMAINS.

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PROPER ALTITUDE. A FACTOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S DIVERTED ATTENTION..

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