NTSB Identification: CHI08CA079.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 08, 2008 in Litchfield, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 172RG, registration: N4726V
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 he did not observe any obstacles when he overflew the lake, but noted there was some bird activity in the vicinity. He performed a low altitude pass, approximately 100 feet above the lake, without incident. During a second low altitude pass, the pilot heard a "thump" noise which was immediately followed by a loss of engine power and engine vibration. A forced landing was made in a nearby muddy field, but the airplane nosed over shortly after touchdown. The airplane impacted a static wire that was strung across the lake. The wire, approximately 40 feet above the water, was part of two-wire power transmission line. The airplane's propeller had damage consistent with a wire strike.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's intentional low altitude flight and his failure to maintain clearance from the static wire. Contributing to the accident were the static wire, the partial loss of engine power due to propeller vibration, and the muddy field in which the forced landing was made.
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