The pilot of the Cessna 152 and a passenger were returning to their home airport at the conclusion of a cross-country flight. The pilot elected to perform a simulated loss of engine power and subsequent practice approach to a farm field.
During the approach, the airplane descended to about the height of the irrigation system installed in the field. The pilot noticed a “glint of light” and instinctually applied full power, increased pitch, and rolled the airplane right.
The airplane hit a utility wire, resulting in substantial damage to the right wing.
The pilot subsequently returned to the destination airport and landed uneventfully.
When enumerating the factors that contributed to the accident, the pilot noted that his “…decision to continue the approach as long as I did played a role.”
The NTSB determined the probable cause was the pilot’s delayed decision to terminate the practice approach during a simulated loss of engine power maneuver, which resulted in an inadvertent collision with utility wires.
NTSB Identification: ERA13CA230
This April 2013 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.