NTSB Identification: CEN11LA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 24, 2010 in Velma, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N4428Q
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 pilot had been flying pipeline patrol for approximately 4 months and had no previous pipeline patrol experience. According to witnesses, the pilot was circling and attempting to guide a ground crew to a pipeline leak. He made four complete circles around the leak and, on the fifth circle, the airplane rolled into a hard left turn. The nose of the airplane dropped, and the airplane struck power lines during the ensuing uncontrolled descent. An examination of the airplane’s structure, engine, and systems revealed no anomalies. Recorded weather observations and witness reports indicated gusting wind in the area of the accident site.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering, which resulted in an inadvertent stall and subsequent impact with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's relative inexperience in pipeline patrols.

Full narrative available

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