NTSB Identification: FTW97LA134.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 20, 1997 in PARAGOULD, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-502, registration: N7319Y
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 entered the field and felt a 'hard right hand pressure that he could not correct.' The pilot next remembers that the 'stick suddenly went sloppy.' The airplane flew over a row of 30 to 40 foot high trees and impacted the ground with the right wing low. A witness, in the first field, reported that she heard a loud 'pop,' and she looked up to see the airplane flying southeast across the field. She stated that the airplane was 'corkscrewing all the way around, maybe 3 or 4 times, before it went over the tree-line and out of sight.' She further stated that 'one wing was bent 90 degrees in half (at the midway point).' Another witness reported that he saw the airplane coming over the trees with 'something hanging down under the left wing at about the midpoint (like a support brace).' The witness further stated that 'at the same midpoint area of the left wing, he noticed that the leading edge was funny or something was flapping around.' Postcrash examination of the wreckage revealed the left wing leading edge was found crushed aft to the spar at the midpoint and the left wing spray boom was dented/bent approximately 2.5 feet inboard from the outboard end.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees resulting in jammed control surfaces. A factor was that aircraft control was not possible by the pilot.

Full narrative available

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