NTSB Identification: ATL05LA149.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 2005 in Colquitt, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-235, registration: N7399Z
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 had been flying spray loads over cotton crops throughout the day. A witness in a residence reported he heard the airplane's engine "cut off and then the crash right after." Examination of the accident site revealed the airplane was inverted at the edge of an open field bordered by a treeline. An approximate 8-inch area on the leading edge of left wing approximately 3 feet inboard of the wing tip was crushed from the leading edge aft to the spar, and the spar was damaged. The wing skin in the crushed area showed circular, accordion-type deformation. A freshly-broken tree limb approximately 5 inches in diameter was on the ground between the treeline and the wreckage, and one tree within the treeline appeared to have a fresh break approximately 60 feet above the ground. The tree with the broken limb appeared to jut further into the field than the other trees in the treeline. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction was observed. The propeller was attached, and each propeller blade showed twist deformation, s-shaped bending, chordwise scratches, and the absence of paint along the leading edge and camber side. The FAA inspector who responded to the scene observed a series of slash-type ground scars in the dirt and grass along the wreckage debris path.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain visual lookout and clearance from obstacles while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in an in-flight collision with a tree and subsequent uncontrolled descent into the ground.

Full narrative available

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