On April 2, 2000, approximately 1200 central standard time, a Cessna 182C airplane, N9055T, was substantially damaged during impact with terrain while maneuvering near Brownfield, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by American Patrols Inc., of Midland, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. The pipeline inspection flight departed Snyder, Texas, at 1045.

Witness interviews, conducted by the FAA inspector, who visited the accident site, revealed that the airplane was circling low (approximately 500 feet agl) over a suspected oil leak in a pipeline. The witnesses stated that the airplane was in a "60-90 degree bank to the left," and the pilot was attempting to get their attention. The witnesses further stated that the airplane lost altitude while in the turn until it "flew into the ground," impacting on the left wing and cartwheeling.

The pilot told the FAA inspector that he could not remember the event. The FAA inspector stated that he concluded that the pilot's attention was diverted to the witnesses, and that the pilot "had stalled or was about to stall the aircraft in this high bank angle." According to the FAA inspector, the airplane's left wing was torn from the fuselage and the fuselage sustained structural damage.

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