NTSB Identification: FTW98LA161.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 28, 1998 in ST. JOSEPH, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/08/1998
Aircraft: Grumman G-164, registration: N617Y
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Following three uneventful aerial application flights, the pilot removed the biplane's cockpit side windows. While completing the first pass of the fourth flight, the pilot 'noticed the plane did not perform as it had previously.' As he turned the airplane to begin the second pass, it settled into the trees bordering the field being sprayed. While in the trees, the pilot advanced the propeller and throttle controls and made an unsuccessful attempt to dump his load of herbicide. Upon reaching the edge of the trees, the pilot 'nosed the aircraft over to land in a small field before hitting the wire across the road.' As he flared to land, the airplane impacted the road embankment. Subsequently, the airplane nosed over, came to a stop in the inverted position, and began to burn. The postcrash fire consumed the fuselage, empennage, and the upper and lower right wings.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the trees. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the ensuing forced landing.

Full narrative available

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