NTSB Identification: LAX89FA241.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41721.
Accident occurred Thursday, July 20, 1989 in HESPERIA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 177, registration: N30039
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 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.

WITNESSES SAID THAT AFTER TAKEOFF THE AIRCRAFT FLEW A CURVING RIGHT HAND FLIGHT PATH AT LOW ALTITUDE BACK TOWARD THE APPROACH END OF THE RUNWAY USED FOR DEPARTURE. AT A POINT CORRESPONDING TO A MODIFIED AND EXTENDED RIGHT BASE LEG FOR THE RUNWAY, THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH A HIGH TENSION POWER LINE AT AN ALTITUDE OF 32 FT AGL. AT THE TIME OF WIRE CONTACT, THE AIRCRAFT WAS FLYING PARALLEL WITH THE POWER LINE. A POST CRASH FIRE CONSUMED THE AIRCRAFT. EXTENSIVE EXAMINATION OF THE SURVIVING WRECKAGE COMPONENTS REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF A PRE-IMPACT MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE. AUTOMOTIVE FUEL OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN OR QUALITY WAS PROBABLY BEING USED IN THE AIRCRAFT WITHOUT AN APPROVED STC. ACCORDING TO A SECOND HAND ACCOUNT FROM THE SURVIVING CHILD PASSENGER, THE TWO PILOTS BEGAN 'FIGHTING OVER THE CONTROLS' AFTER TAKEOFF, WITH ONE PILOT REPORTEDLY TELLING THE OTHER THAT 'HE TURNED THE WRONG WAY.' THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED ON A DARK NIGHT OVER AN AREA WITH NO GROUND REFERENCE LIGHTS.

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

AN INFLIGHT COLLISION WITH A POWER LINE WHILE MANEUVERING AT LOW ALTITUDE SHORTLY AFTER DEPARTURE ON A DARK NIGHT OVER AN AREA WITH FEW GROUND REFERENCE LIGHTS. THE REASONS FOR THE AIRCRAFT'S FLIGHT PATH AND ALTITUDE PROFILE ARE UNDETERMINED. A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT WAS THE APPARENT DISAGREEMENT WHICH OCCURRED BETWEEN THE TWO PILOTS DURING THE ACCIDENT FLIGHT SEQUENCE.

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