FTW96LA371
FTW96LA371

On September 3, 1996, at 1500 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-301, N3166H, was substantially damaged during an impact with transmission wires while maneuvering and the subsequent forced landing near Meadow, Texas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant in the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Foshee Flying Service under Title 14 CFR Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local aerial application flight which originated from Terry County Airport, Brownfield, Texas, approximately 15 minutes before the accident. A flight plan was not filed.

The pilot stated in the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report that he "arrived at the field and made a complete circuit of the job to locate all wires." He further stated that there were "large east west power lines" on the north edge of the field and "small east west wires" along the south end of the "very flat field."

The pilot reported that he flew the first application swath southbound by flying under the "large wires," across the field, and over the "small wires" on the south end of the field. He then turned the airplane around for the second swath and reversed the application pattern. On the north end of the field, the airplane's vertical stabilizer "hit the large wires, destroying the fin" and "removing the rudder." The pilot reported that the airplane would only fly in a circle, so he dumped the plane's load and performed a forced landing to a cotton field. The landing gear separated from the airplane and two spars in the right wing were damaged.

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