NTSB Identification: FTW97LA029.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 08, 1996 in STANTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-36-300, registration: N57871
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.

During a local aerial application flight maneuver, the pilot was spraying milo and cleaning up the edge of the field when the airplane struck an electrical wire where the rudder and the vertical stabilizer meet at the leading edge and the wire cutters did not cut the wire. The upper bolt of the rudder was pulled out and the rudder was hanging by cables and the lower bolt. During the 15 mile flight to the airport, the rudder vibrated loose and separated from the aircraft. When the airplane was slowed for the landing/flare the pilot lost control of the airplane.

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

Pilot's failure to maintain clearance with a wire resulting in the separation of the rudder and a loss of aircraft control.

Full narrative available

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