Accident report: Low pass through a power line

Here was an interesting accident report that recently appeared on General Aviation News. A pilot was flying over a lake near Litchfield, Illinois, and he did not see any obstacles other than some birds. Hence, performed a low pass approximately 100 feet above the lake and did so without incident. However and during a second low pass, he heard an impact noise. This was was immediately followed by a loss of engine power along with some engine vibration that forced him to make a landing in a nearby muddy field. Shortly after touchdown, the plane nosed over but luckily the pilot was not hurt – although damage to the plane was substantial.

The later accident investigation determined that the airplane’s propeller had hit a static wire that was strung across the lake approximately 40 feet above the water. This wire was part of a two-wire power transmission line that the pilot obviously did not know about or had not spotted. Lesson learned: If you are not familiar with the area, do not attempt any low passes for any reason!

One Response to Accident report: Low pass through a power line

  1. Sylvia March 2, 2010 at 23:07 #


    I know of a plane that did something similar at Kidlington – was getting his night rating and didn't have the angle quite right, flew straight into some cables. *shudder*

    (Plane was a write-off but they got it down OK

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