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On September 28, 2001, at 1620 central daylight time, a PZL Meilec PZL M18B agricultural airplane, N203MC, impacted terrain after striking a standpipe while maneuvering near Plainview, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was owned by Diversified Lenders, Inc. of Lubbock, Texas, and operated by KLLR Spraying Inc., of Clovis, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The flight originated from the Hale County Municipal Airport, Plainview, Texas, at 1407.
According to the FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, the pilot was completing an aerial application to a field when the airplane's left wing struck a standpipe. After the airplane struck the pipe, it traveled to the west approximately 4 miles. The pilot then reported that "he could not hold it anymore", and subsequently, the airplane impacted the terrain.
A witness reported that the airplane was flying to the southwest and low. The airplane banked to the left, then right, and the left wing struck the ground. The airplane cartwheeled 1 1/2 times, separated a wing, and came to rest inverted in a field. Additional witnesses observed the airplane after it struck the pipe, in low flight, and then observed it impact the field.
The pilot received his commercial pilot certificate on June 14, 1997. The pilot was issued a second-class medical certificate on June 9, 2000, with no limitations. According to the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), which was completed by the operator, the pilot had accumulated 1,923 total flight hours of which 196 hours were in the accident aircraft make and model.
The 1999-model airplane, serial number 1Z027-12, was registered to the owner on June 15, 2000. A review of the maintenance records revealed that the airplane was last endorsed for an annual inspection on May 16, 2001, at an aircraft total time of 379.66 hours. The PZL Warszawa-Okecie AW-2-30 engine, serial number W538018, was last endorsed for an annual inspection on May 16, 2001, at a engine total time of 379.66 hours. The total time on the aircraft and engine at the time of the accident was not determined.
The FAA inspector stated that the airplane wreckage was located at latitude North 34 degrees 15.2 minutes; longitude West 101 degrees 36.5 minutes. The airplane came to rest inverted on a measured magnetic heading of 185 degrees. The 30-foot tall standpipe, which was located at latitude North 34 degrees 15.7 minutes; longitude 101 degrees 31.0 minutes, displayed an impact mark approximately 4 feet from the top. The outer 4 1/2 feet of the left wing, outer 1 foot of the left aileron, and red glass, consistent with the left navigation light lens, were found in a 300-foot long debris field northwest of the standpipe.
The autopsy was performed by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, on September 29, 2001. Toxicological tests performed by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. Ephedrine, Pseudoephedrine, and Phenylpropanolamine were detected in the pilot's urine.