On September 24, 1995, about 1436 eastern daylight time, a Snyded Pitts-S1E, N27920, was substantially damaged when it impacted power lines during a descent near Somers, New York. The pilot and one person in a boat received minor injuries. Two occupants of the boat were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Danbury, Connecticut about 1430, destined for Morristown, New Jersey. There was no flight plan for the flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a statement provided to the New York State Police, the pilot stated:

... While I was flying over Westchester, I saw the water and went down to get a closer look, I took the plane down to about 500 to 1000 feet. While flying at that altitude, which is an estimate, I wasn't looking at the altimeter, I heard a loud bang, like a hammer. I looked over at my wing and noticed damage. At that point I thought that I might be able to keep [the airplane] up, however, I soon noticed that the plane wasn't responding. I decided that I would have to put the plane down. I put the plane down on the water....I experienced no mechanical problems while I was flying, and I don't know what hit the plane.

In the NTSB form 6120.1/2, the pilot further stated:

...During a descent the aircraft struck an object, subsequently confirmed to be a power line. Damage was immediately noted to the top right wing and the aircraft tried to roll to the right. I compensated for the roll and felt the aircraft shudder. I made an emergency landing in a body of water....

Postaccident examination by the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator and Federal Aviation Administration Inspector revealed that the right upper wing was separated from the main fuselage attachment point at the leading edge. Approximately 3 feet outboard from the main attachment point, the right upper wing had scrape marks that extended outboard and aft about 6 inches. Approximately 3 feet outboard from the main attachment point, the right upper wing fabric was torn about 1 foot in a chordwise direction. The two bladed propeller had gouges on each blade that were symmetrical. No preimpact anomalies were found with the airframe or engine.

Additionally, at the accident scene, a 46000 volt, 3/4 inch diameter power line was found separated in a reservoir.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page