NTSB Identification: FTW00LA178.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 06, 2000 in WELSH, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Gulfstream-Schweizer G-164D, registration: N8337K
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.
The pilot was returning the agricultural airplane to the airport to pick up a second spray load when he heard a 'deep humming sound coming from the engine.' The pilot added that white smoke was emanating from the engine's exhaust, and that the propeller feathered and came to a stop. The pilot landed the airplane in a flooded rice field. The main landing gear dug into the mud resulting in the airplane nosing over. Post-accident examination of the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-15AG engine revealed that one of the teeth on the reduction gearbox's 1st stage sungear failed as a result of fatigue. The fatigue fracture originated from an area of pronounced wear. Numerous gear teeth displayed wear and spalling damage. The gear was found to be within the manufacturer's hardness and dimensional limits. The engine had exceeded the manufacturer's recommended 3,500-hour overhaul period by 4,153 hours.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The excessive wear of the reduction gearbox's 1st stage sungear, which resulted in its subsequent fatigue fracture and failure. Factors were the operator not performing the recommended overhaul of the engine, and a lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing. Full narrative available
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