On July 10, 1998, at 1910 hours mountain standard time, a Dehavilland DH-82A, N5050C, impacted a tree while maneuvering in Red Rock Canyon near Sedona, Arizona. The aircraft sustained substantial damage and the airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated in Sedona at 1810. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he was filming a car commercial for a production company and was making coordinated passes with a car on the ground and a helicopter was flying behind them with a camera. They had been flying approximately 1 hour. The pilot made several low passes while attempting to drop a mailbag into the car for purposes of the commercial story line. He reported that on the last pass, he had about 90 feet to go before he was supposed to pull up. He was between the helicopter and the car when he hit the top 2 1/2 feet of a cedar tree. The pilot said it was "dead center" off the aircraft nose and stated that he never saw it. He was flying about 50-60 mph when he impacted the tree. The filming was stopped about 6 seconds before the accident occurred.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the aircraft prior to the accident, nor was there any visibility restriction.

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