IAD99LA050
IAD99LA050

On June 25, 1999, about 1000 eastern daylight time, a Boeing Steerman PT-17, N61467, was destroyed as it impacted the water while flying near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The certificated airline transport pilot received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions existed and no flight plan was filed for the personal local flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot said he performed a "normal departure" from the Lock Haven Airport (LHV) and after a 20 minute local flight, he decided to return to the airport through a valley northwest of the airport. The pilot stated that while he was flying, the airplane "apparently struck an unseen object and departed controlled flight." In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that he thought the object was an unmarked cable that ran across the river. He said he had noticed these cables on previous flights because they were usually marked with orange balls. The pilot further stated that he was "not aware of any mechanical deficiencies that may have lead to the accident."

In a telephone interview, a witness stated that he was flying his own airplane above, behind, and to the left of the accident airplane. The witness said he saw the accident airplane "pitch up and roll hard to the left." He stated that as it rolled left the airplane changed direction rapidly. The witness said the airplane impacted the river "straight up and down" and caught fire. He saw the pilot depart the airplane from the left side as the fire reached the right side of the cockpit.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, there were telephone wires across the river that were 50 -150 feet high. An FAA inspector who visited the accident site reported there was nothing left of the completely burnt airplane.

The pilot possessed a first class medical and reported 14,600 hours of total flight experience.

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