NTSB Identification: LAX98LA090.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 17, 1998 in WASCO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/12/2000
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-301, registration: N3656C
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 heard a loud bang and felt a strong engine vibration after takeoff and crashed during the attempt to return to the runway. The number two cylinder was found cracked between the two spark plug portholes. The owner/operator reported that cracked cylinders are typical on these engines, usually due to the pilot overboosting the engine on takeoff. He stated that the pilot had cracked a cylinder on the accident aircraft on five previous occasions, as well as on other aircraft. The owner further stated that he trains all his pilots in emergency procedures. The pilot of the aircraft did not respond to requests for the accident report and no longer works for the operator.

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

The pilot overboosting the engine on takeoff which resulted in a cracked cylinder and subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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