NTSB Identification: DEN06GA017.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 18, 2005 in Alpine, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 182R, registration: N9928H
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 public aircraft accident report.

The civil air patrol (CAP) pilot was en route to administer a checkride to another CAP member. A state trooper had made a traffic stop on U.S. 26 at milepost 125. While he wrote the ticket, the violator saw an airplane fly past her position in a canyon following a river. She told the trooper what she had seen and said the airplane was below the highway and treetops. Shortly thereafter, the trooper located the inverted airplane submerged in the river. The trooper said there were no clouds in the sky and visibility was unlimited. Investigation revealed the airplane had struck and severed a 7/8-inch SSC (stainless steel conduit) EEIP (Extra Extra Improved Plow) braided cable. The cable was used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to monitor river flow and depth. The length of the cable (from support to support) was 324 feet, and had a "breaking strength" of 80,000 pounds. It was anchored in concrete blocks approximately 30 feet above the river's surface. Slack placed the cable about 25 feet above the surface at midspan (lowest point). Evidence indicates the airplane struck the cable at about the 107 foot mark. The cable broke about 6 feet from the anchor on the other side of the river.

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

the pilot's intentional low level flight/maneuver. A contributing factor was his exercising poor judgment.

Full narrative available

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