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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA030
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 18, 2016 in Paragould, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502, registration: N4218E
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that while in a left turn during an aerial application flight the airplane encountered a gust of wind and began to "shake", so he leveled the wings momentarily before continuing the turn. He further reported that he was looking at the field instead of where he was turning and when the airplane was 30-50 feet above the ground he looked up and saw electrical wires. The right wing tip struck the electrical wires and the airplane made a forced landing in a nearby pond.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the both wings and fuselage.

The pilot also reported that during the day of the accident he was under stress and his head was "in another place".

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to avoid electrical wires during low-altitude maneuvering, which resulted in a wire strike.