NTSB Identification: DEN89FA117.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40215.
Accident occurred Saturday, May 06, 1989 in LIVINGSTON, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/22/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N7296J
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 ACFT WAS OBSERVED FLYING AT TREE TOP LEVEL OVER A TREE COVERED MOUNTAINOUS AREA SOUTH OF LIVINGSTON, MONTANA. THE PRIVATE PLT WAS MAKING SEVERAL PASSES OVER MILITARY UNITS CONDUCTING SUMMER CAMP TRAINING EXERCISES, WHEN THE THE ACFT STRUCK TREES AND CRASHED. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THE AIRPLANE 'BUZZED' TREE TOPS SEVERAL TIMES. THE INVESTIGATION REVEALED NO MECHANICAL MALFUNCTIONS WHICH WOULD HAVE AFFECTED THE OPERATION OF THE AIRPLANE.

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

THE POOR JUDGEMENT DISPLAYED BY THE PILOT WHEN HE MANEUVERED THE AIRPLANE AT EXTREMELY LOW ALTITUDE OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. DURING THE FLIGHT THE PILOT MISJUDGED THE PULL-UP REQUIRED AND STRUCK TREES.

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