FTW00LA024
FTW00LA024

On November 3, 1999, at 1410 central standard time, a Cessna A188B agricultural airplane, N72062, was substantially damaged during impact with powerlines and terrain while maneuvering near Seminole, Texas. The instrument rated commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Addison Flying Service, Inc., of Seminole, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for Title 14 CFR Part 137 flight for which a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from the operator's private airstrip, known as Hamilton Airport (5TA0) near Seminole, Texas, approximately 5 minutes prior to the accident.

According to personnel from the Texas Department of Public Safety, who responded to the accident site, the airplane collided with two powerlines suspended approximately 20 feet above cotton fields in a north-south direction. The accident site was located approximately 10 miles northeast of the airplane's home base. There were no reported eyewitnesses to the accident.

The pilot reported to the NTSB investigator-in-charge, that he was in the process of aligning the SATLOC equipped airplane for the first pass over a 320-acre field that he intended to spray. The airplane was on a westerly heading "over a brownish colored matured cotton field and he never saw the dull aluminum wires" that the airplane collided with. The pilot added that the two electrical wires were severed after impacting the top of the windshield, the upper portion of the vertical stabilizer, and the rudder assembly. The rudder assembly was partially ripped from its mounts and jammed in a "marked right rudder deflection."

The pilot stated that after flying through the powerlines, he attempted to continue straight ahead on a westerly heading; however, the rudder was pulling the airplane into a right turn which he could not control with full opposite aileron. Control of the airplane continued to decay as the airspeed diminished. The pilot added that when he could no longer maintain control of the airplane, he extended the flaps and "crashed into a cotton field in a right wing low attitude."

The airplane came to rest in the upright position, approximately 1/2 mile northwest of where the airplane collided with the powerlines. The cockpit of the airplane was not compromised during the accident sequence. The pilot was able to egress from the wreckage unassisted. The 10,000-hour pilot, who was wearing a flight helmet, stated that the seat belt and shoulder harness were replaced by the operator prior to the start of the spray season.

The FAA inspector, who traveled to the accident site, stated that a 10-inch section of the rudder and vertical stabilizer were missing from the wreckage and were found in the area adjacent to the two severed powerlines. The two main landing gears, as well as the tail wheel assembly, separated from the airframe. The engine assembly was found separated from the airframe, and the propeller assembly remained attached to the engine crankshaft. The hopper was not compromised and contained approximately 25 gallons of herbicide.

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