NTSB Identification: CEN09CA194
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 06, 2009 in Harrold, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2009
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-502B, registration: N648LA
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he had been established in cruise flight at 4,500 feet mean sea level for the approximately 45-minute cross-country flight. As he neared the destination airport, he descended to about 100 feet above ground level (agl) in order to view some winter wheat fields for the upcoming agricultural spraying season. As he leveled off, he observed increasing fog along his route of flight. He began a 180-degree turn to reverse course and intended to divert to an intermediate airport when the airplane impacted a high-tension power line. The airplane severed one of the lines and subsequently impacted an adjacent farm field. The pilot reported no failures or malfunctions associated with the airplane prior to the collision with the power line. The pilot report weather conditions at the time of the accident as an obscured ceiling about 800 feet agl, with 2 miles visibility in fog. Winds were light and variable, and there was no precipitation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the power lines during his turn to reverse course due to weather. Contributing to the accident was the reduced visibility at the time of the accident.

Full narrative available

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