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N734 accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 32.065000°N, 103.558333°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Jal, NM
32.113181°N, 103.193513°W
21.6 miles away
Tail number N734
Accident date 01 Dec 2004
Aircraft type Piper PA-18-150
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On December 1, 2004, at 0740 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-18-150, N734, operated by the United States Department of Agriculture, sustained substantial damage when it impacted a power line while landing on Delaware Basin Road, 20 nautical miles west of Jal, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The business flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The commercial pilot reported no injuries. The cross-country flight originated from Roswell, New Mexico, at approximately 0635.

According to the accident report submitted by the pilot, he was en route to Brininstool Ranch to pick up a United States Department of Agriculture specialist. The ranch roads normally used for landing were muddy and lined with high vegetation. The pilot elected to land on Delaware Basin Road after circling the road three times to "check for obstacles and hazards." The pilot noted the power lines and "planned [his] final approach well above the power lines." During the final approach, the pilot lost sight of the power lines "due to the early morning sun." The main landing gear impacted one of the lines. Subsequently, the airplane impacted the ground in a nose down attitude, damaging the propeller and collapsing the main landing gear. The airplane came to a rest on the west side of the road. Both wing struts were bent aft longitudinally and the firewall was crushed and wrinkled. A postaccident examination of the airplane's systems, conducted by the FAA, revealed no anomalies.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the power lines. Contributing factors include the power lines, the sun glare, the pilot's reduced visual lookout, the pilot’s improper in-flight planning and decision making and the pilot's failure to perform a go-around procedure after losing sight of the power lines.

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