NTSB Identification: FTW97LA127.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 17, 1997 in PINE BLUFF, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1997
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-402, registration: N1524R
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 agricultural airplane was being flown to a field of winter wheat for application of fertilizer. When it was about 1/4 mile north of the field, the right wing of the airplane impacted an antenna tower. The outboard section of the right wing was severed by the impact, and the airplane then entered an uncontrolled descent and collided with the ground. According to the operator, the pilot was familiar with the area and had worked this field previously. Toxicology tests of the pilot's blood showed 0.642 mcg/ml fluoxetine (Prozac, an antidepressant), 0.676 mcg/ml norfluoxetine (metabolite of fluoxetine), and an undetermined amount of tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (metabolite of marihuana) and phenylpropanolamine. Tests of his urine showed 0.020 mcg/ml tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid and an undetermined amount of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine. Fluoxetine was not approved by the FAA for this pilot's use while flying.

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

failure of the pilot to see-and-avoid the tower. The proximity of the tower was a related factor.

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