NTSB Identification: FTW96FA228.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 28, 1996 in LAKE PROVIDENCE, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/23/1996
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-401, registration: N1549D
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was returning to home base from the north, following an aerial application of rice seed in the local area. After making a low pass down the runway, the airplane circled right to a northerly heading, then it turned back south. When the airplane was approximately abeam the midpoint of the runway, it entered another right turn. According to witnesses: with the 'nose of the airplane up,' the airplane 'seemed to over bank and went straight into the ground.' Also, they reported that the engine sounded 'normal.' The airplane impacted in an open field, approximately 300 feet west of the south end of the air strip. An examination of the airplane and engine did not reveal any preimpact structural or mechanical anomalies. Witnesses reported the winds were 225 degrees at 15 knots gusting to 20. The witnesses also reported that the wind sock was 'straight out,' and that thunderstorms were located approximately 1.5 miles to the south of the accident site.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain sufficient airspeed, while maneuvering (turning), which resulted in an inadvertent stall and collision with the terrain. The high gusty wind condition was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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