NTSB Identification: MIA95LA229.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 21, 1995 in LORIDA, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/1996
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT-502, registration: N1529E
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

BEFORE DEPARTURE AN EMPLOYEE WHO WAS FILLING THE HOPPER WHILE THE ENGINE WAS OPERATING OBSERVED THE FUEL GAUGE IN THE COCKPIT AND NOTED THAT IT INDICATED 1/4. HE ADVISED THE PILOT TO REFUEL AND THE PILOT STATED THAT HE WOULD SPRAY PART OF THE LOAD THEN FLY TO SEBRING TO REFUEL. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED TOWARD THE SPRAY LOCATION SOUTH OF LAKE ISTOKPOGA. A WITNESS IN A BOAT OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE DESCEND INTO THE WATER. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED THE WATER AND NOSED OVER COMING TO REST IN ABOUT 5 FEET OF WATER. THE PILOT DID NOT ESCAPE. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE WHILE PARTIALLY SUBMERGED REVEALED THAT THE FOUR PLACE SEAT RESTRAINT WAS UNLATCHED AND THE COCKPIT DOORS WERE OPEN. THE PILOT WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET. ACCORDING TO THE DIVER WHO RECOVERED THE PILOT'S BODY, VISIBILITY BENEATH THE SURFACE WAS POOR. DURING RECOVERY OF THE AIRPLANE THE FUEL TANKS WERE DRAINED USING THE SUMP DRAINS AND ABOUT 2 GALLONS OF FUEL AND WATER WERE RECOVERED.

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

MISMANAGEMENT OF THE FUEL BY THE PILOT RESULTING IN THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO FUEL EXHAUSTION, AND THE PILOT'S POOR DECISION TO FLY OVER WATER EN ROUTE TO THE REFUELING AIRPORT.

Full narrative available

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