The pilot reported that, while maneuvering at low altitude over a field in Hondo, Texas, during an agricultural application flight, the Air Tractor hit an antenna atop a tower adjacent to the field, and the antenna wrapped around the right wing and landing gear.
The pilot attempted an off-airport landing, but the airplane hit terrain.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, empennage, and both wings.
In an e-mail, the tower owner’s lawyer reported that the tower was used for internet and two-way communications. He added that the tower was under 200′ above ground level and “with the antenna attached, the tower was in the mid to upper 100′ range.” The lawyer reported that the tower was marked and lit appropriately and was not registered due its height.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from an antenna atop a tower while maneuvering at a low altitude and the airplane’s subsequent impact with terrain during an attempted off-airport landing.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA462
This September 2016 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.