NTSB Identification: FTW96LA251.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 14, 1996 in CASH, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-401, registration: N1004W
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 reported that he had 'been operating the aircraft all day with no problems.' The airplane had landed for another load and was topped off with 60 gallons of 100LL fuel. While on the takeoff roll, the engine lost partial power. The pilot said that he estimated the engine power loss to be at about 50 percent. He 'was on a half mile airstrip with no time or field length for a shut down. I began to dump the load and tried to get [the] aircraft off [the] ground.' The aircraft continued off the departure end of the runway and impacted a dirt bank which separated the landing gear from the aircraft. The airplane's engine was recently overhauled by an FAA certified repair station. The engine was removed from the airframe and test run at the repair station. According to the repair shop, the engine 'exhibited good oil pressures and was operated through all R.P.M./performance ranges and no abnormal characteristics were observed.' The owner's representative stated in a telephone interview with the investigator-in-charge that the power loss was the result of fuel contamination.

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

The partial loss of engine power due to fuel contamination. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain available for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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