NTSB Identification: FTW97LA074.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 02, 1997 in RIO GRANDE CITY, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Beech C90A, registration: N1552D
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.

The pilot planned to navigate south along the road for approximately 25 nautical miles to the Starr County Airport, near Rio Grande City. The pilot stated that while en route to the airport, at an estimated altitude of 1,000 feet MSL, the left engine propeller impacted guide wires and the outer portion of the right wing impacted a tower. According to the Brownsville sectional chart, the tower, which is located on the west side of the road, is 1,002 feet MSL high (519 feet AGL). The pilot reported that he 'checked [the] map to track his position along highway 755, and when he looked up, the tower was right in front, too late to take evasive action.' The pilot also reported that after the collision with the tower, he aborted the approach and proceeded to the McCallen Miller International Airport, where after extending the landing gear manually, an uneventful landing was made.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the tower. Factors were the low ceilings and the pilot's diverted attention to his navigation.

Full narrative available

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