NTSB Identification: CHI07LA162.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 05, 2007 in Watford City, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Aero Commander S2R, registration: N8835Q
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 operator reported that the airplane was loaded with approximately 300 gallons of liquid insecticide and estimated the takeoff weight of the airplane was between 7,200 and 7,300 lbs. A few minutes prior to the accident, the pilot radioed that he was going to divert to another field because there were individuals near the field he was about to spray. No additional radio transmissions were received from the accident pilot. A witness, who was working an oil field west of the accident site, stated that the airplane appeared to be making normal spray runs before he lost sight of the airplane behind a hill. He noticed smoke about four to five minutes later and contacted local law enforcement to report the accident. The main wreckage was found immediately adjacent to an unimproved, east-west access road that ran between two agricultural fields. Power lines were located about 50 feet south of the main wreckage that ran parallel to the access road. A ground scar began approximately 21 feet north of the power lines and led up to the main wreckage. Portions of the left wingtip's navigational lens were found at the initial point of impact. The main wreckage remained upright and was facing south. A fan-shaped debris field, about 80 feet long, continued away from the main wreckage on a northwest heading. It appeared that the pilot was most likely maneuvering to avoid the power lines when ground collision occurred. A majority of the aircraft was destroyed by the post-impact ground fire. The on-scene investigation did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies that would have prevented the normal operation of the airframe, engine, or its associated systems.

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

The agricultural pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the terrain while maneuvering to avoid power lines. The power lines were a contributing factor in the accident.

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