NTSB Identification: FTW97FA304.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 1997 in WILMOT, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2000
Aircraft: Grumman G-164, registration: N634U
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.

Pilot initiated a forced landing following a total loss of engine power. Examination revealed a fractured throttle cable due to excessive wear & fatigue cracking. The fractured area of the cable was not accessible for inspection due to its location within the cable housing. The 1965 aircraft had accumulated 10,001.96 hours. No evidence was found that the throttle cable had ever been replaced. Mid-afternoon, the pilot felt nauseated; however, he continued the aerial application flights. A land owner found the airplane upside down in a cotton field and called 911. Seat belt/shoulder harness was not worn. Autopsy results indicated the pilot's cause of death as 'acute thrombosis of the left anterior descending coronary artery complicated by multiple injuries sustained in the accident. The pathologists reported that the autopsy demonstrated evidence of compressional asphyxia.'

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

The loss of engine power due to a fractured throttle cable because the cable housing prevents an inspection of the cable by maintenance personnel. Factors were the pilot's impairment due to a heart attack, the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing, and the pilot's failure to use the seat belt/shoulder harness.

Full narrative available

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