NTSB Identification: FTW97LA245.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 11, 1997 in CHURCH POINT, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-400A, registration: N36538
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 was departing to the north using full power with 2,230 pounds of fertilizer on board. He further reported that: 'I started my takeoff roll with 10 degrees [of] flaps and increased [them] to 30 degrees further down the strip. As I got to the end of the strip I had to pull the plane off to clear a large levee, after which it settled back down to the ground.' The pilot stated that 'as the end of the runway came closer, I felt like I was over gross.' The FAA Inspectors reported that they were unable to determine the actual weight of the airplane at the time of its takeoff roll. The airplane had a different model engine on it then when it left the factory; no paperwork was located in the airplane for the modification nor the new weight limitations. An Air Tractor manufacturer's representative reported that a normal takeoff in an AT-400A is performed with the flaps in the up position. The representative further stated that 'takeoffs from short strips with heavy loads should be performed with the flaps set at 10 degrees.' The representative reported that 'no other takeoff configuration for the flaps is authorized in the airplane's operating procedures.'

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

The pilot's improperly performed short field takeoff procedures.

Full narrative available

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