NTSB Identification: DEN89LA168.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40356.
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 11, 1989 in HATTON, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/1990
Aircraft: CESSNA 172H, registration: N3269L
Injuries: 2 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 ACFT HIT THE GROUND AS THE PLT WAS MAKING A LOW PASS OVER A BEAN FIELD TO CHECK FOR GRASSHOPPERS. HE RPRTD THAT AS HE WAS APCHG THE FIELD FROM THE NORTH, THE ACFT CROSSED OVER A SHELTER BELT (TREES) WHICH WAS ABOUT 50 TO 60 FT TALL. THE PLT STATED THAT AS THE ACFT WAS DESCENDING OVER THE SHELTER BELT, 'IT FELT AS IF THE BOTTOM DROPPED OUT OF THE AIRPLANE.' HE PULLED BACK ON THE YOKE & THE ACFT STARTED TO RESPOND, BUT IT HIT THE GROUND IN A WINGS LEVEL, SLIGHTLY TAIL LOW ATTITUDE & WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED. THE PLT'S LAST MED CERT WAS DATED 2/6/87.

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

IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT CLEARANCE ABOVE THE GROUND. THE TAILWIND, HIGH OBSTRUCTION (SHELTER BELT), AND DOWNDRAFT WERE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.

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