NTSB Identification: FTW00LA005.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 05, 1999 in BROWNFIELD, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-36-285, registration: N4241U
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 pilot was spraying a field using east-west headings. A 115,000-volt power line ran north-south along the eastern edge of the field. According to the FAA inspector and a witness, the pilot completed a spray run to the east and was turning the airplane to a westerly heading, re-entering the field, when the airplane contacted and severed a power transmission wire and a static wire. The airplane impacted the ground about 500 feet west of the power line, and a fire erupted, which consumed the airplane. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, on the night of the accident, sunset occurred at 1929. The accident occurred approximately 1700, 2 1/2 hours before sunset. Toxicological testing revealed a concentration of 4.23 ug/ml of cyanide in a blood sample. This is likely a result of the fire. The toxicological testing was negative for drugs, alcohol, and carbon monoxide.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with power wires while maneuvering during an aerial application flight. A factor was the sunglare.

Full narrative available

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