ATL95FA079
ATL95FA079

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 8, 1995, at 2000 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172F, N8197U, collided with a utility line 141 feet above the water at Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina. The personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot received serious injuries, and the passenger was fatally injured. The flight departed Asheville, North Carolina, at 1930 hours.

According to the pilot, they departed Asheville to view the sunset, and had no definite return or destination planned. After takeoff, the pilot flew south towards Lake Keowee. Upon arriving over the lake, the pilot decided to circle his brother's home. This was a prearranged signal which indicted his intention to land at a nearby airport, and would need ground transportation. As the pilot maneuvered the airplane into position over his brother's lake home, the airplane collided with the top grounding cable of the set of utility lines. The airplane fell about 140 feet into the lake.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Information on the pilot is included in this report at the data field labeled "First Pilot Information."

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Information on the aircraft is contained in this report at data field labeled "Aircraft Information".

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Weather information is contained in this report at the data field labeled "Weather information".

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane sank in 45 feet of water, 100 yards from the west shore of the lake. The high voltage power lines were installed approximately 140 feet above the water. Examination of the airframe disclosed that the right wing sustained extensive impact damage along the outboard three quarters of the wing surface (see attached photograph). The left wing sustained relatively minor impact damage.

Examination of the engine station and cowling disclosed water and other impact damage. The top engine cowling displayed permanent deformation and there were six holes, punched from the inside, which corresponded with the position of the top spark plugs on the engine. The bottom portion of the engine cowling exhibited a permanent horizontal and circular crease a few inches below the blue paint trim (see attached photograph). Examination of the propeller assembly disclosed that one propeller blade had a 22 inch diagonal scrape mark along the leading edge (see attached photograph). There was an additional scrape mark on the lower part of the nose wheel strut. Both marks appeared to have been made by a circular object, much like that of a wound cable.

According to Duke Power, owner of the utility lines, no utility service was interrupted following the collision.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

No medical or pathological information was obtained.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to:

Dr. John P. Spencer (Aircraft owner) 192 Wembley Road Asheville, North Carolina

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