NTSB Identification: SEA08CA081.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 15, 2008 in Duncan Mills, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Steven Hardie AIR CAM, registration: N30581
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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 he was flying at a low altitude over a river into hazy conditions and looking directly into the setting sun. The pilot stated that as he was preparing to turn to miss a flock of birds the airplane impacted a set of transmission wires, which severed the airframe's wing support structures. The impact with the wires forced the airplane to a lower altitude and under a bridge in the airplane's flight path. After flying under the bridge and exiting on the opposite side, the airplane impacted a second set of transmission wires with the airplane's landing gear legs. The pilot then made a successful forced landing on a river gravel bar and came to rest upright. A witness, who was camping nearby, observed the airplane flying about 20 to 40 feet above the river before going out of sight. The witness reported, "Approximately 5 seconds later I heard a 'large impact,' followed by an electrical discharge sound and the power going out at the campground."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with power lines while maneuvering at a low altitude. Contributing factors included the pilot's decision to fly at low altitude and the sun glare condition. Full narrative available
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