NTSB Identification: SEA89LA110.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40397.
Accident occurred Monday, June 12, 1989 in CHEMULT, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/1990
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N1365E
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 PLT & PASSENGER WERE CONDUCTING AN EAGLE SURVEY FLT. THEY MADE A PASS OVER AN EAGLE'S NEST, NORTH OF LEMOLO LAKE TO COUNT NEWLY HATCHED EAGLETS, BUT WERE UNSUCCESSFUL. THE PLT DESCENDED TO ABOUT 400 FT AGL & WAS ON THE 2ND PASS, WHEN THE ACFT ENCOUNTERED DOWNDRAFTS. HE SAID HE APPLIED FULL POWER, BUT WAS UNABLE TO STOP A RAPID DESCENT IN TIME TO AVOID IMPACT WITH TREES. THE TERRAIN IN THAT AREA SLOPED UPWARD TO THE NORTH TO A BUTTE. ABOUT 52 MI WEST AT ROSEBURG, OR, THE 1548 PDT WIND WAS FROM 340 DEG AT 8 KTS. DENSITY ALT AT THE ACDNT SITE WAS COMPUTED TO BE 5570 FT.

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

IMPROPER INFLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT, WHICH RESULTED IN A SUDDEN ALTITUDE DEVIATION, AND HIS DELAY IN INITIATING REMEDIAL ACTION TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE FROM THE TREES. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE THE DOWNDRAFTS, HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE, THE PILOT DIVERTING ATTENTION, AND THE TREES.

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