NTSB Identification: FTW00TA142.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 07, 2000 in FORT STOCKTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/19/2001
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-802A, registration: N60471
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

A witness, located approximately 1/4-mile from the accident site, stated that the agricultural airplane was spraying fire retardant on an 8,000-acre fire. The witness observed the airplane bank 'hard to his right' after dropping the fire retardant. The witness reported that 'he [the airplane] was still in his turn or bank when he hit the guy wires of the radio tower.' The witness heard two loud bangs and observed the airplane impact the ground. Multiple strands of cable were found among the aircraft wreckage. The top 80 feet of the 300-foot antenna tower and the associated guide cables were destroyed. There were no mechanical discrepancies found with the airframe or the engine that would have prevented operation of the airplane prior to the accident. The FAA inspector stated that visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident; however, there was 'blowing smoke in the air that may have been a contributing factor.'

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the antenna tower. A factor was the smoke weather condition.

Full narrative available

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