On September 18, 2004, at 0147 Pacific daylight time, an Aero Commander S2R, N8822Q, collided with high-tension wires while the pilot was performing an aerial application flight in Firebaugh, California. Vance Aircraft Salvage, Inc., was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 137. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local aerial application flight departed a private airstrip at an unknown time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he was flying in a southerly direction while applying agriculture spray to the fields below in dark night conditions. As he was spraying, he maneuvered the airplane underneath the high-tension wires in the area. After finishing a field, he configured the airplane in a climb. He began the climb too early, and the airplane collided with the high-tension wires. While cutting through the wires, he maneuvered the airplane in a right turn, and the engine experienced a loss of power. With the engine producing no power, he made a forced landing in an almond orchard.

The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. The airplane incurred damage to both wings, the landing gear, booms, and engine.

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