The pilot reported that, while conducting an aerial application flight near Pearsall, Texas, he had taken his eyes “off of the line just before entering the field.”
The Grumman G164’s landing gear hit the top wire and was pulled down toward the field. He attempted to correct by pulling “hard on the stick and pushed the power forward.”
The airplane became airborne, but suddenly the “left wing was yanked violently back into the corn.”
Utilizing right rudder, he attempted to lift the wing from the field and was able to maintain flight. The airplane was again “yanked and for the last time,” and hit the ground.
The airplane was consumed by a post-accident fire and destroyed. The pilot was seriously injured in the crash.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from power lines during low-altitude maneuvering.
A dangerous environment like this demands continuous attention and great skill. Any lapse in attention can lead to tragedy; a good lesson for all our less-demanding aviation tasks too!
This May 2019 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.