Aircraft Incident/Accident Report

Lake Wales, Florida 33898
Saturday, September 11, 2004 5:28 EDT

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NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident
During a night Mosquito Control Spraying operation the airplane collided with a 520-foot television tower 20-feet below the top. Witnesses stated they could hear the airplane and could see its marker lights, but did not see lights on the tower. At 0330, an automobile accident knocked out electrical power which included electrical power to the television tower. The pilot did not obtain a weather or preflight briefing prior to the flight which would have also provided him with NOTAM information stating that the power and lights had failed on the tower. There were no mechanical problems reported by the pilot or discovered during the post-accident examination of the airplane.
NTSB Probable Cause Narrative
The pilot's inadequate preflight planning and preparation, and his inadequate visual lookout, which resulted in a collision with a television tower.
Event Information
Type of EventAccident 
Event Date9/11/2004 
Event Day of the WeekSaturday 
Time of Event528 
Event Time ZoneEastern Daylight Time 
Event CityLake Wales 
Event StateFLORIDA 
Event Country-- 
Zipcode of the event site33898 
Event Date Year2004 
Event Date Month
MidAir Collision Indicator-- 
On Ground Collision occurred ?-- 
Event Location Latitude275359N 
Event Location Longitude0813722W 
Event Location Airport-- 
Event Location Nearest Airport ID-- 
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airportOff Airport/Airstrip 
Distance from airport in statute miles-- 
Degrees magnetic from airport-- 
Airport Elevation-- 
Weather Briefing Completeness-- 
Investigator's weather sourceWeather Observation Facility 
Time of the weather observation553 Eastern Daylight Time 
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees)158 
Weather Observation Facility IDORL 
Elevation of weather observation facility113 
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?)40 
Time Zone of the weather observationEDT 
Lighting ConditionsNight/Dark 
Lowest Ceiling Height-- 
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height-- 
Sky/Lowest/Cloud ConditionsClear 
Sky Condition for Lowest CeilingNone 
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet)-- 
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles)-- 
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10 
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius)25 
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit)25 
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic)50 
Variable Wind IndicatorWind direction could be determined 
Wind Speed (knots)
Wind Velocity Indicator -- 
Wind Gust IndicatorNot Gusting 
Wind Gust (knots) -- 
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 30.01 
Density Altitude (feet)-- 
Intensity of Precipitation-- 
METAR weather report -- 
Event Highest InjuryFatal 
On Ground, Fatal Injuries-- 
On Ground, Minor Injuries-- 
On Ground, Serious Injuries-- 
Injury Total Fatal
Injury Total Minor-- 
Injury Total None-- 
Injury Total Serious-- 
Injury Total All
Investigating AgencyNTSB 
NTSB Docket Number (internal use)18552 
NTSB Notification SourceFAA Com Center  
NTSB Notification DateSep 11 2004 12:00AM 
NTSB Notification Time630 
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket informationDMS 
Date of most recent change to recordOct 27 2005 6:51AM 
User who most recently changed recordNTSB\JOHB  
Basic weather conditionsVisual Meteorological Cond 
FAA District OfficeOrlando FSDO 
Aircraft Involved
Aircraft #1
Aircraft Registration NumberN962AB 
NTSB NumberATL04LA177 
Missing Aircraft Indicator-- 
Federal Aviation Reg. PartPart 137: Agricultural 
Type of Flight Plan filedNone 
Flight plan Was Activated?No 
Aircraft FireNone 
Aircraft ExplosionNone 
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full NamePiper 
Aircraft ModelPA-23-250 
Aircraft Series Identifier-- 
Aircraft Serial Number27-3869 
Certified Max Gross Weight5200 
Aircraft CategoryAirplane 
Aircraft Registration Class-- 
Aircraft is a homebuilt?No 
Flight Crew Seats-- 
Cabin Crew Seats-- 
Passenger Seats-- 
Total number of seats on the aircraft
Number of Engines
Fixed gear or retractable gearRetractable 
Aircraft, Type of Last InspectionAnnual 
Date of Last InspectionAug 1 2004 12:00AM 
Airframe hours since last inspection19 
Airframe Hours7331 
ELT InstalledYes 
ELT ActivatedNo 
ELT Aided Location of Event SiteNo 
ELT Type-- 
Aircraft Owner NameVector Disease Control Inc. 
Aircraft Owner Street Address800 South Street 
Aircraft Owner CityWaltham 
Aircraft Owner StateMA 
Aircraft Owner CountryUSA  
Aircraft Owner Zipcode02453 
Operator is an individual?No 
Operator Name-- 
Operator Same as Owner?Yes 
Operator Is Doing Business As-- 
Operator Address Same as Owner?Yes 
Operator Street Address-- 
Operator City-- 
Operator State-- 
Operator Country-- 
Operator Zip code-- 
Operator Code-- 
Owner has at least one certificate-- 
Other Operator of large aircraft?-- 
Certified for Part 133 or 137 OperationAgriculture 
Operator Certificate Number-- 
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not-- 
Indicates Domestic or International Flight-- 
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail-- 
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary)Aerial Application 
Second Pilot on BoardNo 
Departure Point Same as EventNo 
Departure Airport CodeX07  
Departure CityLake Wales Mun 
Departure StateFL 
Departure CountryUSA 
Departure Time415 
Departure Time ZoneEDT 
Destination Same as Local Fltdest & departure same, accident can occur anywhere 
Destination Airport Code-- 
Destination City-- 
Destination State-- 
Destination Country-- 
Specific Phase of FlightManeuvering - aerial application 
Report sent to ICAO?No 
Evacuation occurredNo 
Date of most recent change to recordSep 6 2005 11:14AM 
User who most recently changed recordPOWP  
Since inspection or accidentLast Inspection 
Event Location Runway Number and LocationNA 
Runway Length-- 
Runway Width-- 
Sight Seeing flightNo 
Air Medical FlightNo 
Medical Flight--