NTSB Identification: CHI97LA278.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 03, 1997 in LARIMORE, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Schweizer G-164B, registration: N8326K
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 airplane, which was applying a herbicide on a field, flew under high tension lines about 200 yards from the field's boundary. It then began a climbing 180-degree turn in preparation for its final swath run. The airplane collided with the electrical wires and impacted the earth a short time later. The pilot was seriously injured by the collision forces and postimpact fire. However, the pilot succumbed to paraquat poisoning 8 days after the accident. Paraquat is the active ingredient in Gramoxone Extra. According to the Material Data Safety Sheets and the manufacturer's product label, paraquat adversely affects the respiratory system and eventually leads to death by respiratory failure.

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

the pilot delaying the swath run turnaround maneuver at the end of the field boundary, and his failure to maintain clearance between the airplane and the high tension wires. A factor was the pilot's inattentiveness regarding the time to begin the swath run turnaround maneuver.

Full narrative available

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