Telephone wires, runway bad combination

This June 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Beech E90.
Location: Carlsbad, Calif.
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The airport is on a plateau at an elevation of 331 feet MSL and there is a telephone line at roughly 746 feet MSL about 2,500 feet from the departure end of the runway.  According to the METAR issued 13 minutes prior to the accident, the winds were calm and visibility was a quarter of a mile in fog. The pilot had logged 1,177 hours, including 286 hours in the make and model of aircraft. He also had 268 hours in instrument conditions, including 11 hours in the 90 days before the accident. Shortly after departure, the plane hit the telephone wires and burst into flames.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from wires during an instrument takeoff attempt.

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