NTSB Identification: FTW00LA074.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 25, 2000 in RAYVILLE, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-401, registration: N91968
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 airplane's engine was started and allowed to operate for 45 minutes due to the cold weather (temperature 36 degrees F). The pilot taxied the airplane out to the taxiway and performed engine run-up and magneto checks. All checks were 'okay,' and the airplane was taxied to the loading area where 325 gallons of chemical were loaded. The pilot taxied the airplane to the runway and performed another engine run-up. The magneto check was 'okay,' and the oil temperature was in the green. The pilot stated that he started the takeoff roll by 'power[ing] up' to 36 inches manifold pressure and 2,250 rpm. After liftoff from the runway, during a turn, at about 150 feet agl, the engine lost power. The pilot dumped the load of chemical and initiated a forced landing to a 'fresh rowed cotton field.' The airplane touched down perpendicular to the rows, and during the landing roll, the main landing gear 'sunk' into the soft ground, and the aircraft nosed over coming to rest inverted. An examination of the aircraft's engine by an FAA inspector revealed that 'the #6 cylinder had a preexisting crack.'

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

The loss of engine power due to a crack in the #6 cylinder. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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