NTSB Identification: ATL83FIG03.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 20306.
Accident occurred Sunday, January 02, 1983 in HANCOCK, MD
Aircraft: CESSNA 172F, registration: N8515U
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious,2 Minor.
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 AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH THE TOP TWO WIRES OF A POWERLINE DURING A LOW ALTITUDE SIGHT-SEEING FLIGHT ALONG THE POTOMAC RIVER. THE PILOT STATED HE WAS MAINTAINING VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND SHOULD AN EMERGENCY LANDING BECOME NECESSARY. HE WAS STAYING HIGH ENOUGH FOR CLEARANCE OF THE TREES. HE STATED THAT APPARENTLY THE TERRAIN WAS GETTING HIGHER WITHOUT HIS AWARENESS AND SUDDENLY THE WIRES BECAME VISIBLE JUST BEFORE THE COLLISION. ONE WIRE CONTACTED THE LANDING GEAR AND THE ACFT PITCHED DOWN OUT OF CONTROL AND CRASHED ON A ROCKY LEDGE ON AN ISLAND IN THE RIVER. THE FREE END OF ONE OF THE WIRES RECOILED ONTO HIGHWAY I-70 AND STRUCK TWO CARS CAUSING MINOR INJURIES TO 2 PERSONS.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:VISUAL LOOKOUT..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND
PROPER ALTITUDE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND
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