Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

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

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 Event Accident
Event Date 9/11/2004
Event Day of the Week Saturday
Time of Event 528
Event Time Zone Eastern Daylight Time
Event City Lake Wales
Event State FLORIDA
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 33898
Event Date Year 2004
Event Date Month 9
MidAir Collision Indicator --
On Ground Collision occurred ? --
Event Location Latitude 275359N
Event Location Longitude 0813722W
Event Location Airport --
Event Location Nearest Airport ID --
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport Off Airport/Airstrip
Distance from airport in statute miles --
Degrees magnetic from airport --
Airport Elevation --
Weather Briefing Completeness --
Investigator's weather source Weather Observation Facility
Time of the weather observation 553 Eastern Daylight Time
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) 158
Weather Observation Facility ID ORL
Elevation of weather observation facility 113
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) 40
Time Zone of the weather observation EDT
Lighting Conditions Night/Dark
Lowest Ceiling Height --
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height --
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Clear
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling None
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 Indicator Wind direction could be determined
Wind Speed (knots) 5
Wind Velocity Indicator --
Wind Gust Indicator Not Gusting
Wind Gust (knots) --
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 30.01
Density Altitude (feet) --
Intensity of Precipitation --
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury Fatal
On Ground, Fatal Injuries --
On Ground, Minor Injuries --
On Ground, Serious Injuries --
Injury Total Fatal 2
Injury Total Minor --
Injury Total None --
Injury Total Serious --
Injury Total All 2
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 18552
NTSB Notification Source FAA Com Center
NTSB Notification Date Sep 11 2004 12:00AM
NTSB Notification Time 630
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information DMS
Date of most recent change to record Oct 27 2005 6:51AM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\JOHB
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office Orlando FSDO

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft Registration Number N962AB
NTSB Number ATL04LA177
Missing Aircraft Indicator --
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 137: Agricultural
Type of Flight Plan filed None
Flight plan Was Activated? No
Damage Substantial
Aircraft Fire None
Aircraft Explosion None
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Piper
Aircraft Model PA-23-250
Aircraft Series Identifier --
Aircraft Serial Number 27-3869
Certified Max Gross Weight 5200
Aircraft Category Airplane
Aircraft Registration Class --
Aircraft is a homebuilt? No
Flight Crew Seats --
Cabin Crew Seats --
Passenger Seats --
Total number of seats on the aircraft 6
Number of Engines 2
Fixed gear or retractable gear Retractable
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection Annual
Date of Last Inspection Aug 1 2004 12:00AM
Airframe hours since last inspection 19
Airframe Hours 7331
ELT Installed Yes
ELT Activated No
ELT Aided Location of Event Site No
ELT Type --
Aircraft Owner Name Vector Disease Control Inc.
Aircraft Owner Street Address 800 South Street
Aircraft Owner City Waltham
Aircraft Owner State MA
Aircraft Owner Country USA
Aircraft Owner Zipcode 02453
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 Operation Agriculture
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 Board No
Departure Point Same as Event No
Departure Airport Code X07
Departure City Lake Wales Mun
Departure State FL
Departure Country USA
Departure Time 415
Departure Time Zone EDT
Destination Same as Local Flt dest & departure same, accident can occur anywhere
Destination Airport Code --
Destination City --
Destination State --
Destination Country --
Specific Phase of Flight Maneuvering - aerial application
Report sent to ICAO? No
Evacuation occurred No
Date of most recent change to record Sep 6 2005 11:14AM
User who most recently changed record POWP
Since inspection or accident Last Inspection
Event Location Runway Number and Location NA
Runway Length --
Runway Width --
Sight Seeing flight No
Air Medical Flight No
Medical Flight --