NTSB Identification: ATL99LA129.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 13, 1999 in CALEDONIA, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-401, registration: N45205
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 was spraying chemicals on a cotton field at an altitude of 300 ft. An hour and a half into the flight, he entered a right turn and the engine lost power. During the initiated forced landing, the right wing collided with a tree. The airplane spun to the right, colliding with the ground nose first, bounced several times, then came to rest. Post-examination of the engine revealed that there was an interruption of the direct drive fuel control (DDFC) gear-train due to a loss of mechanical contact between the teeth of the second and third DDFC gears. The cause for the interference was believed to have been due to excessive loading of the forward gear teeth of the third DDFC gear resulting in loss of material from the third DDFC gear. No assembly, dimensional or material defects were identified which would contribute to excessive loading or interference between the second and third DDFC gears.

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

The failure of the fuel control gear train due to oil contamination. A factor was Inadequate maintenance.

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