NTSB Identification: ATL97LA088.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, June 23, 1997 in RIDGELY, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/1997
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-402B, registration: N6128W
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.

According to the pilot, after taking off from the grass strip, for the fourteenth or fifteenth time that day, with the same load and fuel quantity, he noticed that, after lift off, the 'airplane did not seem to accelerate like normal and began to sink'. He stated he then attempted to dump the 3100 pounds of ammonium nitrate he was carrying. Subsequently, after the doors opened, the airplane stalled, and the airplane collided with the ground; a corn field with plants about six feet tall. The pilot stated that 'before he could reach the power lever, the airplane started turning slightly to the right, and then the left landing gear failed'. No mechanical problems were reported by the pilot. The pilot stated that he believed the light and variable wind and the high temperature contributed to the failure of the airplane to climb. The ambient conditions, at the time of the accident, were the high temperature, high density altitude, and high gross weight of the airplane.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning in that he failed to account for the high temperature and high density altitude, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and loss of control. Factors were the tall crops and the ditch.

Full narrative available

Index for Jun1997 | Index of months