NTSB Identification: ANC05FA037.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 22, 2005 in Cedar Key, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N739NK
Injuries: 1 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 non-instrument rated private pilot departed on a cross-country, 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight in a rented airplane. According to the operator who rented the airplane to the pilot, the pilot told him that he was planning to fly to a community about 135 miles south of the departure airport and return. About two hours after the airplane had departed, residents of a coastal community about 43 miles west of the departure airport, reported hearing a low flying airplane. All consistently stated that at the time of the accident, low clouds and fog substantially reduced visibility. One witness, a private pilot, said he saw the airplane fly out of a fog bank, about 20 feet above the water, over the tidal bay waters next to his home. He said it was headed towards a set of power lines that stretched across the bay, and just before the airplane struck the power lines, it pitched up abruptly and climbed over the power lines. After the airplane had cleared the power lines, he said it stalled, with the nose of the airplane dropping abruptly. The airplane subsequently collided with shallow tidal water and a dock in a nose down attitude.

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

The pilot's continued flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), and his failure to maintain adequate airspeed during an abrupt maneuver to avoid a power line, which resulted in an inadvertent stall, a loss of control, and subsequent collision with terrain-water. Factors associated with the accident were low a ceiling, fog, a transmission wire, and an inadvertent stall.

Full narrative available

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