NTSB Identification: FTW97LA317.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 16, 1997 in VERNON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-301, registration: N2316X
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 flying a swath run over a cotton field at dusk, when his airplane's engine 'lost most of its power.' He stated that he tried to land straight ahead, but 'had to pop-up over a road into the next field.' The next field was terraced. During the landing, the airplane impacted a terrace, which 'flipped the airplane over on its back.' The farmer, whose field was being sprayed, reported to the pilot that 'there was a vertical piece of irrigation pipe in the field that was bent.' The repair facility, where the engine was sent, reported that the number 5 cylinder had received damage when it was 'apparently struck or hit by something.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: failure of the pilot to maintain clearance from an irrigation pipe. Factors relating to the accident were: the poor light condition at dusk, the object (vertical piece of irragation pipe), loss of engine power from foreign object damage, and the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing. Full narrative available
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