The pilot reported that, while flying west to check some fields near Cut Bank, Montana, and circle a friend’s house, he began a right, descending turn about 200 feet above ground level.
He added that he was aware of power wires in the area, but the sun was in his eyes, and the Taylorcraft BC12 was lower than he thought.
The airplane hit power wires and then hit terrain.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to see and avoid power wires while maneuvering at low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inability to determine the airplane’s altitude due to sun glare.
This September 2018 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.