NTSB Identification: SEA06CA111.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 03, 2006 in American Falls, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: North American SNJ-6, registration: N45CK
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that it was cold at a cruise altitude of 8,500 feet msl, and he decided to descend to warmer altitudes. He descended to follow a river. He checked his aeronautical chart and "didn't observe any charted power lines crossing on the segment of the river" that he was flying. He descended to "about 100 feet above the river" and followed the river. He saw three wooden poles and a crossbeam located along the edge of the river, did not see wires, but "made the immediate assumption that there were wires." He pulled up and heard a loud bang as the airplane struck the wires. He also saw a blue flash. After determining that the airplane was "able to continue safe flight," he made a decision to proceed to his original destination, where he was able to make a normal landing. The pilot examined the airplane and reported that the pitot mast was torn from the right wing tip, the leading edges of both outer wing panels were damaged, and there were two puncture holes in the fabric of the left aileron. The pilot stated that "there may have been many contributing factors to this accident but I simply should have had more altitude in order to avoid any possibility of a wire strike."

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

The pilot's performance of low altitude flight and his failure to maintain clearance with a power line, which resulted in an in-flight collision with the power line.

Full narrative available

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