NTSB Identification: LAX99FA301.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 09, 1999 in STRATHMORE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-22-150, registration: N1775P
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 airplane collided with high-tension electrical transmission wires suspended across a valley. According to witnesses, the airplane had departed a local airport the morning of the accident. When the pilot had not returned home by nightfall, a concerned family member contacted the local authorities to report him missing. About 30 minutes later, an ALNOT was issued and the wreckage was located the following morning. Portions of the left wing and a severed skyline wire were found under the high-tension electrical power transmission lines. Two sets of electrical skyline wires cross the valley in a northwest-southeast direction passing approximately 500 feet northeast of the main wreckage location. The two sets of wires are about 50 feet apart and towers supporting the wires are on the hilltops to the northwest and southeast; the open span across the valley was 5,190 feet. At the center of the valley the wires are approximately horizontal and are suspended approximately 175 feet above the valley floor. Inspection of the airplane revealed that the leading edge of the left wing had an impact mark with a rust-colored, braided appearance resembling the skyline wire, there was also a similar scrape on the lower spar cap of the left wing that had remained attached to the airplane. A circular gouge was observed on the leading edge of one of the propeller blades; the diameter of the gouge corresponded to the end of the severed wire. The airframe and powerplant were inspected on-scene with no discrepancies noted.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain an adequate terrain and obstacle clearance altitude, which resulted in a collision with power transmission wires.

Full narrative available

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