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N481DB accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 43.098055°N, 123.428889°W
Nearest city Dillard, OR
43.102894°N, 123.427850°W
0.3 miles away
Tail number N481DB
Accident date 11 Mar 2005
Aircraft type Birtch Kitfox II
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 11, 2005, about 1300 Pacific standard time, a Birtch Kitfox II amateur-built airplane, N481DB, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a power line during cruise flight and then descended into the South Umpqua River near Dillard, Oregon. The commercial pilot and the passenger were not injured. The personal flight was being operated by the pilot under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed from a private airstrip in Dillard about 1230.

The pilot reported that he was cruising upstream on the South Umpqua River when the airplane "struck the upper power lines (about 80 feet above water) with prop and left gear leg." The aircraft assumed a nose down attitude and then "released itself from the wires." The pilot attempted to recover, but the airplane "pancaked into the river" where it came to rest upright in "knee deep" water.

An FAA inspector examined the airplane and reported that the left wing sustained structural damage, and the right lift strut was bent.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from obstacles while in cruise flight at low altitude, which resulted in an inflight collision with a power line. A factor was the pilot's decision to fly at low altitude.

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