NTSB Identification: MIA95LA227.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 21, 1995 in VERO BEACH, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/08/1996
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT-301A, registration: N7304C
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT STATED THAT, WHILE DUSTING WITH SULFUR, AN EXPLOSION OCCURRED THAT BLEW THE LID OFF OF THE HOPPER, FOLLOWED BY AN IN-FLIGHT FIRE. WHILE MANEUVERING FOR AN EMERGENCY LANDING, THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES, CAME TO REST INVERTED, AND A POSTCRASH FIRE ENSUED. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE RECORDS REVEALED NO ENTRY THAT AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE 48-34-02, REQUIRING 5 FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES (LOCATION OF ENGINE EXHAUST, BONDING OF FUSELAGE, AGITATOR BEARING DESIGN/MAINTENANCE, HOPPER GATE CONSTRUCTION/MATERIAL, AND FIRE RESISTANT LOWER FUSELAGE), HAD BEEN COMPLIED WITH.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

FAILURE OF COMPANY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL TO COMPLY WITH A REQUIRED AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE, RESULTING IN AN IN-FLIGHT FIRE AND EMERGENCY LANDING. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

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