NTSB Identification: SEA00LA051.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 13, 2000 in ODELL, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Weatherly 620B, registration: N9040V
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Witnesses reported that after making a series of spray passes over a block of pears in an east-west direction, the pilot made a north-to-south spray pass over the eastern boundary of the pear block. This pass was toward sharply rising terrain. On the north-to-south pass, the aircraft struck a tree near the south end of the orchard and began coming apart. It then struck more trees as it climbed, losing additional parts of its wing, and subsequently impacted the ground. A post-crash fire erupted immediately upon ground impact and consumed the forward portion of the airplane including the cockpit area. One witness reported that the aircraft's engine appeared to be running at full power until ground impact. An autopsy on the pilot determined the cause of his death to be 'asphyxia due to inhalation of products of combustion', noting 'no evidence of significant anatomic injury.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient altitude over, or clearance with, a tree. Factors contributing to the occurrence of the accident were the tree and sharply rising terrain. A factor contributing to the severity of the accident was a post-crash fuel fire. Full narrative available
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