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N700LA accident description

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Crash location 34.263333°N, 103.353056°W
Nearest city Portales, NM
34.186192°N, 103.334398°W
5.4 miles away
Tail number N700LA
Accident date 22 Jun 2017
Aircraft type Air Tractor Inc At 502
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The pilot reported that, during an aerial application flight while maneuvering at the destination field in a left turn, he realized that the airplane was not going to be able to climb over transmission lines in his flight path. He added that he lowered the nose to fly under the transmission lines, but the "airspeed was still too low" and the airplane impacted an embankment, slid across the ground for about 100 ft., and nosed over.

The airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire.

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

An automated weather observation station, 10 nautical miles north of the accident, about 5 minutes before the accident, reported the wind as calm, temperature 102°F (39°C), dewpoint 43°F (6°C), and barometric setting of 29.77" Hg. The calculated density altitude was 8,200 ft.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Koch Chart, when considering the surrounding temperature and field elevation, the airplane would have likely experienced a 65% decrease in the normal climb rate.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's decision to fly the airplane under transmission lines while maneuvering at low altitude in high-density altitude conditions, which resulted in subsequent collision with terrain.

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