The pilot reported that during the initial climb, he leveled off at about 65′ above the ground and made a right turn to follow a river near Long Island, N.C. After maneuvering down the river for about one minute, the Beech F35 hit uncharted and unmarked power lines that spanned across the entire length of the river.
The impact from the power lines cracked the windscreen and damaged the vertical stabilizer, but aircraft control was not affected and he was able to continue to the destination airport about three nautical miles away.
The pilot said he never saw the power lines, but he did observe larger charted power lines about one mile ahead.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to maneuver at low altitude, which resulted in a collision with power lines and substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA173
This March 2016 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.