NTSB Identification: CHI01FA130.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 06, 2001 in WICHITA, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N733RK
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 airplane was observed flying low in the vicinity of the Wichita International Raceway, Wichita, Kansas. One witness reported hearing two blasts like a shotgun. The witness said he and his friends drove over to where they thought the sound had come from. They found the airplane lying on the guard rail of the racetrack totally on fire. Another witness working in his yard just north of the racetrack said he heard the sound of a small airplane, stopped what he was doing and searched to gain sight of the airplane. He said that he had a clear view of the airplane. It was traveling north-northwest at an altitude of 150 to 200 feet and descending slightly. The witness said the engine speed was very high, but sounded normal, and the flaps were up. The witness watched the airplane until he lost sight of it behind some trees. "About the time I lost visual contact … I heard the metallic sound and noticed that all the power wires (east and west) were bouncing." The witness said he ran into the house to call 9-1-1, but the phones were dead and there was no power to the house. An examination of the accident site revealed damage to a tower support cable pole atop a 110-foot tall power line support tower. The north side 3/4-inch diameter support cable was observed draped through trees northeast of the tower and ran north-northeast to the airplane main wreckage. The cable ran through the airplane's empennage and on to the racetrack. One broken end of the cable was on the racetrack south of the airplane. The top 8 inches of the airplane's vertical stabilizer and rudder was located 15 feet east of the racetrack beneath the power lines. A 3/4-inch diameter c-shaped indention ran horizontally along the right side of the piece. An examination of the remainder of the airplane revealed no anomalies. The airplane's owner said that flight instructors were using the racetrack as a practice strip to set up and practice emergency landings.

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

the student pilot not maintaining clearance from the tower support wire during the practice emergency landing maneuver and the instructor pilot's inadequate supervision of the student pilot. Factors relating to the accident were the static wire and the low altitude.

Full narrative available

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