FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albuquerque FSDO-01
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA333
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 25, 2016 in Anthony, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N46204
Injuries: 2 Minor.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that he wanted to "fly the river" on the return leg of a cross country flight. He further reported that he was going to fly at a lower altitude over the river, but before doing so, he did a low reconnaissance pass to look for people and objects. After he determined that the area was "safe", the pilot entered low altitude flight above the river. Subsequently, the airplane struck a cable that spanned the river cutting the aircraft in half, the aircraft then impacted the river and incurred substantial damage to the fuselage and wings.
The pilot reported that there were no pre impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a cable while maneuvering at a low altitude over water, which resulted in a collision with a cable and impact with water.
New Mexico State Police say a single engine aircraft was found in the Rio Grande just west of State Road 28 near mile marker 24. It's unclear what time the crash happened.
When officers arrived, both occupants from the plane had left the scene and were transported by a good Samaritan to Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces. Both were then transferred to University Medical Center in El Paso.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be in charge of the investigation.