NTSB Identification: CHI06LA105.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 07, 2006 in Blackburn, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 177, registration: N34200
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was conducting a pipeline patrol when it hit a power line and subsequently impacted the terrain. A witness reported that she observed the airplane flying west, paralleling Highway 20 at a low altitude. It was about two power line poles in height above the ground and the airplane was flying slow. The witness reported, "All of a sudden, the left wing went down and the right wing went up." The witness described the angle of bank as a perpendicular position, a 90-degree vertical bank. The airplane turned left into a gully and the left wing impacted the top wire of a power line. The inspection of the wreckage revealed that the outboard portion of the left wing at the aileron/flap juncture had separated at a 45-degree angle. A downed power line wire was found tangled in the wreckage. The post accident inspection of the airplane revealed no preexisting anomalies that could be associated with a pre-impact condition. An on-site inspection of the accident site revealed that 35 to 40 feet tall power lines provided power to several nearby residential customers. A power line crossed the highway near the site of the accident. There were no other power lines observed in the area that crossed the highway. The power line the airplane impacted paralleled the south (left) side of the highway.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain obstacle clearance from the power line during low altitude maneuvering. A factor was the power line.

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