Saturday, January 27, 2018

Cessna 172S, N55234: Accident occurred November 07, 2017 at Boundary County Airport (65S), Bonners Ferry, Idaho

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bonners Ferry, ID
Accident Number: GAA18CA044
Date & Time: 11/07/2017, 1200 PST
Registration: N55234
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that, about 50 ft. above the ground during a "low recon" over a river bar, he did not see power lines crossing the river until they were about 10 ft. in front of the airplane. Subsequently, the airplane's empennage struck the wires; he then, added power and initiated a climb. He returned to the airport and landed without further incident.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to see and avoid power lines while maneuvering at a low altitude.


Personnel issues
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 25, Male 
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/28/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/29/2015
Flight Time: (Estimated) 396.2 hours (Total, all aircraft), 329.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 282.9 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 60.4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 23.2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N55234
Model/Series: 172 S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 172S11415
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/06/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 224.2 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: PETER HAMBLING
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: K65S, 2333 ft msl
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 305°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -7°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.38 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bonners Ferry, ID (65S)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Coeur D'Alene, ID (COE)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1145 PST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 2337 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 48.702222, -116.243333 (est)

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