NTSB Identification: CHI08FA033
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 03, 2007 in Gladwin, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2008
Aircraft: CESSNA 172I, registration: N8353L
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.

Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane maneuvering over their position at a low altitude. The airplane was observed in a left turn when it suddenly banked to the right and left before descending vertically (nose down) into a wooded area. Several individuals stated that the pilot often took aerial photographs during his flights. The pilot's logbook documented numerous flights that were undertaken for the expressed purpose of photographing objects on the ground. Local law enforcement personnel recovered a digital camera that was slung around the pilot's neck. The camera contained photographs of the immediate area surrounding the accident site. The recovered image metadata showed that 112 photos were taken during the accident flight. Examination of the recovered wreckage revealed no evidence of a pre-impact mechanical malfunction.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering at a low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's diverted attention while attempting to photograph ground objects.

Full narrative available

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