ATL99LA099
ATL99LA099

On May 30, 1999, at 1630, eastern daylight time, a Cessna A185F, N881FD, collided with a utility line and sank in Lake Murray near Chapin, South Carolina. The personal flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged; the private pilot received minor injuries and his passenger was not injured. The flight departed Camden, South Carolina, at 1610.

According to the pilot, he was enroute to visit a friend who lived on Lake Murray. As the pilot maneuvered for an approach to land on the lake, the airplane lost engine power. The pilot, reportedly, saw the utility lines that crossed the lake and attempted to fly over the utility lines. The airplane collided with the utility lines, fell into the lake, and sank in 12 feet of water. The pilot and his passenger were rescued within minutes by South Carolina State Wild Life personnel patrolling the lake.

After the airplane was recovered from the lake, an examination of the airframe and engine assembly was accomplished. The engine examination included a functional test run. During the functional test run, the engine operated normally through all power ranges. The examination of the airframe failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or system failure (see NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report). A piece of the aft right wing spar was recovered for fracture analysis. The examination of the spar material disclosed fracture features typical of overload. The pilot reported that he departed with 55 gallons of fuel on board the airplane.

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