NTSB Identification: FTW00LA012.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 14, 1999 in OLTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-301, registration: N23930
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During an aerial application flight, one of the propeller blades of the agricultural airplane separated approximately midspan. The airplane began to shake violently, and the pilot executed a forced landing in a field. During the landing roll, the pilot applied the brakes to avoid colliding with an irrigation pipe, and the airplane nosed over and came to rest in the inverted position. Examination of the propeller, by an FAA inspector, revealed that it appeared to be damaged due to a wire strike. However, there were no broken high wires found in the immediate area of the accident site, and the pilot did not recall striking any wires. It could not be determined whether the damage had occurred just prior to the blade failure or if the blade had been damaged and not properly repaired prior to the flight.

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

The inflight separation of the propeller blade due to damage from a wire strike. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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