NTSB Identification: FTW98FA151.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 19, 1998 in MCGEHEE, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-502, registration: N10035
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.

The instrument rated commercial pilot lost control of the agricultural airplane while attempting to return to his home base airstrip after heavy fog formed in the early dawn. Physical evidence at the accident site indicates that the airplane impacted trees and terrain in a nose low attitude in a right turn, at a high rate of speed. Flight instruments installed in the 1988 model turbine powered airplane amounted an altimeter, an airspeed indicator, and a slip indicator. There were no reported eye witnesses to the accident. Examination of the wreckage at the accident site and a review of the aircraft maintenance records did not disclose any anomalies or evidence of pre-impact malfunction that could have prevented normal operations.

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

The pilot's inadvertent flight into adverse weather conditions resulting in the loss of control due to spatial disorientation. Factors were the fog and low ceiling, and the inadequate flight instruments available to the pilot.

Full narrative available

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