NTSB Identification: LAX98LA103.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 26, 1998 in WOODLAND, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Air Tractor 301-300, registration: N8828S
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 on approach to the field to be sprayed the engine quit and started to windmill. The pilot made an emergency landing, touched down in soft dirt, and the aircraft nosed over and came to rest inverted. The owner/operator drained approximately 1 1/2 quarts of fuel from each tank at the accident site and reported that it is their general operating practice to refuel each hour, in one tank only. The tanks cross-feed into each other. The owner explained that at a low rpm, the tachometer time will match the time lapse on a wristwatch, but at a higher rpm, the watch lapses at a quicker rate. For example, at a high rpm, 1 hour on a wristwatch will equal approximately 1 hour 10 minutes on the tachometer. After the accident, the pilot reported to the owner that he thought he still had 15 minutes left before refueling. The owner opined that the pilot was using his wristwatch to calculate the time, instead of using the tachometer, which led to fuel starvation. No mechanical defects were noted on the engine during the subsequent teardown inspection.

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

The failure of the pilot to adequately monitor his fuel consumption, which resulted in fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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