NTSB Identification: FTW97FA229.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 19, 1997 in LAS ANIMAS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-301, registration: N7308E
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.

There were no witnesses to the accident. The pilot was reported to have been almost finished spraying a 33 acre corn field with a herbicide called 'Lightning.' The airplane was found burning in a field that was on an approach and adjacent to the field being sprayed. The sheriff reported that the wind was calm. The pilot had been treated for Reiter's Syndrome for the previous 3 years. Reportedly, the condition was under control with prescribed medication. Toxicology tests disclosed no evidence of alcohol, drugs, cyanide, or carbon monoxide. About a week after the accident, the farmer reported finding two areas of stunted and discolored corn at opposite ends of his field. The NTSB was not made aware of this finding until four months after the accident. Soil sample tests disclosed a trace amount of oil and grease.

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

in-flight collision with terrain, while maneuvering, for undetermined reason(s).

Full narrative available

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