Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms
Rustys Flying Service: http://registry.faa.gov/N31627
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA462
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, September 05, 2016 in Hondo, TX
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT, registration: N31627
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
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 maneuvering at low altitude over a field during an aerial application flight, the airplane struck an antenna atop a tower adjacent to the field, and the antenna wrapped around the right wing and landing gear. The pilot further reported that he attempted an off-airport landing, but the airplane impacted terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, empennage, and both wings.
The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
In an email with the tower owner's lawyer, he reported that the tower was used for internet and two way communications. He further reported that the tower was under 200 feet above ground level and "with the antenna attached, the tower was in the mid to upper 100 [foot] range." The lawyer reported that the tower was marked and lit appropriately and was not registered, due to the tower height.