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N6958V accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Clovis, NM
34.404799°N, 103.205227°W
Tail number N6958V
Accident date 12 Mar 2004
Aircraft type Mooney M20C
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 12, 2004, at approximately 2120 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20C, N6958V, was substantially damaged when it struck a power transmission line during final approach to Clovis Municipal Airport (CVN), Clovis, New Mexico. The private pilot, the sole occupant on board, was not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for this personal flight being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Winslow, Arizona, at approximately 1800, and was en route to Ardmore, Oklahoma.

According to the pilot, at 11,000 feet msl, at a point just west of Clovis, he encountered rime icing conditions. At approximately 2110, he requested, and was given, clearance to descend to 8,000 feet msl. He stated that after he received the local weather conditions, he decided to divert to CVN. He stated that the weather conditions at CVN were reported as, ceiling, 100 feet; visibility, 4 miles; and wind, 165 degrees at 6 knots. At approximately 2115, the pilot contacted Cannon Approach Control and requested vectors to CVN. He was given vectors for runway 04. The pilot stated that, at approximately 4,400 feet msl, while established on the glide slope and localizer, he struck something, and all radio communication was lost. At 2120, the pilot initiated a missed approach.

The pilot stated that he flew around for 1 hour. At approximately 2220, Cannon Approach "came back on," however, radio communication was intermittent. At that time, while on a heading of 240 degrees, Cannon Approach gave him vectors to Cannon Air Force Base (CVS), which was 270 degrees from his position. After responding to Cannon Approach, by transponder indent, he was directed to runway 22 at CVS. He stated that he "broke out" of the clouds at approximately 200 to 300 feet agl, on a "45 degree" to runway 22. At 2230, he landed at CVS without further incident.

An FAA inspector, who examined the airplane, stated that several scratches were located along the bottom of the aft fuselage and empennage. These "braided" scratches were similar to scratches associated with power transmission line contact. Several areas exhibited burns and "arcing." The wire strike resulted in substantial damage to the aft fuselage bulkhead and lower tail cone assembly.

According to a member services representative from Farmers' Electric Cooperative, Inc., of New Mexico (FEC), on the evening of March 12, 2004, a customer, who lived near the Clovis Municipal Airport, called in to report a power outage that had occurred at approximately 2130 mst. An FEC lineman surveyed the area and located a blown line fuse. The line fuse was "refused" and power was restored at 2223. On March 15, 2004, after receiving reports that a low flying airplane had struck wires in the vicinity of the airport, another FEC lineman conducting a follow-up inspection, located a set of damaged power lines approximately 1/4 of a mile to the right of the runway centerline and approximately 1/4 of a mile south of the approach for runway 04.

The lineman stated that it appeared the low flying airplane had struck the top phase, 14,000 volt, #2 ACSR conductor wire. The impact stretched the conductor wire, breaking the smaller stranded (braided) wires, but leaving the conductor wire intact. Although the conductor wire remained intact, the power outage was the result of a "direct short," caused by the top phase conductor wire's contact with another phase wire. At the point where the damage occurred, the top phase wire was approximately 27 feet, 3 inches, above the ground.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's improper in-flight planning and decision making during an instrument approach resulting in the pilot's intentional descent below approach minimums, and the pilot's failure to maintain obstacle clearance resulting in the in-flight collision with an object. Contributing factors include the dark night light conditions, and the wires.

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