NTSB Identification: SEA92FA013.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45809.
Accident occurred Friday, October 18, 1991 in COLUMBUS, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N733QL
Injuries: 3 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 AND TWO PASSENGERS DEPARTED BILLINGS, MONTANA, AT 1421 ON A LOCAL VFR FLIGHT INN THE CESSNA 172N. SHORTLY THEREAFTER SEVERAL WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRCRAFT OPERATING AT TREETOP LEVEL WESTBOUND IN THE VICINITY OF THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER. ONE WITNESS OBSERVED THE AIRCRAFT IMPACT THE WATER. ON SITE EXAMINATION REVEALED IMPACT MARKS ALONG THE LEADING EDGE OF THE VERTICAL STABILIZER CONSISTENT WITH A WIRE STRIKE. POWER LINES SUSPENDED 40 FFET ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE RIVER WERE OBSERVED TO HAVE IMPACT RELATED DAMAGE AT A LOCATION NEAR WHERE THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED THE WATER.

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S OPERATION AT TOO LOW AN ALTITUDE OVER THE RIVER AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE CLEARANCE FROM THE POWER LINES. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE THE WIRES CROSSING THE RIVER AND THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S POOR JUDGEMENT IN CHOOSING TO OPERATE AT LOW ALTITUDES ALONG HIS ROUTE OF FLIGHT.

Index for Oct1991 | Index of months