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N4241U accident description

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Tail numberN4241U
Accident dateOctober 05, 1999
Aircraft typePiper PA-36-285
LocationBrownfield, TX
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On October 5, 1999, at 1700 central daylight time, a Piper PA-36-285 agricultural airplane, N4241U, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following an in-flight collision with an electrical wire while maneuvering near Brownfield, Texas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by Foshee Spraying Service, Inc., of Brownfield. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight, for which no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from the operator's private grass airstrip, near Brownfield at 1600.

According to local authorities and an eye witness, the 1,336-hour pilot was applying malathion to a field as part of the federally sponsored "boll weevil eradication program." The pilot was spraying the field using east-west headings. He completed a spray run to the east and was turning the airplane to a westerly heading, re-entering the field, when it collided with and severed a 115,000 volt power wire and a static wire. The power wires ran north-south along the eastern edge of the field. The airplane entered a nose high attitude, "looped," and descended to the ground. A fire erupted and consumed the airplane.

The wreckage came to rest 499 feet west of the powerline on a measured magnetic heading of 200 degrees. The propeller separated from the engine and came to rest 50 feet southeast of the main wreckage. A review of the maintenance logbooks by an NTSB investigator revealed no evidence of any uncorrected maintenance discrepancies with the airframe and engine.

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, sunset in Brownfield, Texas, on the night of the accident, occurred at 1929. At 1656, the weather observation facility at the Lubbock International Airport, Lubbock, Texas, (located 30 miles northeast of the accident site) reported clear skies, winds from 220 degrees at 7 knots, and visibility 10 miles.

Toxicological testing performed by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for drugs, alcohol, and carbon monoxide. The testing revealed a concentration of 4.23 ug/ml of cyanide in a blood sample.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.