NTSB Identification: FTW97LA019.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 18, 1996 in THROCKMORTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-502, registration: N4549Z
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The pilot reported that he made an aerial application swath run in a north to south direction. During pull-up from the swath run, the airplane's main landing gear (which were not equipped with wire cutters) caught on an east to west oriented unmarked electrical transmission wire. The pilot further stated that 'the east end of the wire became entangled in the airplane's rudder horn, forcing the airplane into an uncontrolled left turn.' The engine power and the momentum of the airplane were sufficient to 'snap three telephone poles.' Subsequently, the airplane impacted the ground and came to rest inverted. A postimpact fire destroyed the airplane.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain clearance of a transmission wire during pullup from a swath run. The proximity of the transmission wire was a related factor. The installation of wire cutter equipment on the landing gear might have prevented or reduced the level of damage or injury.

Full narrative available

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