NTSB Identification: DFW05LA126.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 19, 2005 in Ralls, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-602, registration: N9017Z
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 21,000-hour pilot had completed his second aerial application on an area of trees, and was en route back to the airport. While maneuvering, the airplane struck a 197-foot high tower. Subsequently, the airplane impacted terrain, where a post impact fire ensued. There were no reported eyewitnesses to the collision with the tower. Examination of the airplane and accident site revealed that the outboard portion of the right wing was separated and found adjacent to the base of the tower. The top three feet of the tower was severed and had yellow paint transfer consistent with the color of the airplane. The tower was erected 15 days prior to the accident and was of an unpainted metal color. The tower was also not equipped with an obstruction light. A weather observation system approximately 29 miles northwest of the accident site reported an overcast cloud ceiling at 25,000 feet.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the antenna tower. Contributing factors were the recency of the tower's construction and the lack of obstruction lights on the tower.

Full narrative available

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