NTSB Identification: FTW96LA371.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 03, 1996 in MEADOW, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-301, registration: N3166H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, he arrived at the field and made a complete circuit of the job to locate all wires. The pilot stated that there were large east-west power lines on the north edge of the field and small east-west wires along the south end of the flat field. The pilot flew the first application swath south bound by flying under large wires, across the field, and over small wires on the south end of the field. He then turned the airplane around for the second swath and reversed the application pattern. On the north end of the field, the airplane's vertical stabilizer hit the large wires, destroying the fin and removing the rudder. The pilot reported that the airplane would only fly in a circle, so he dumped the plane's load and performed a forced landing to a cotton field.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the transmission wire. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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