NTSB Identification: MIA05LA127.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Friday, July 01, 2005 in Fort Pierce, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2006
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-502, registration: N4515V
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 accident flight was the first flight of the day; the pilot was attempting to depart with full fuel tanks and the hopper containing approximately 425 gallons of chemical. After the engine was started the pilot cycled the propeller control one time, and taxied to the approach end of the runway. He reportedly lowered 1 notch of flaps, and applied power noting the maximum torque achieved was 1,650 foot-pounds. The upper torque limit for the airplane/engine combination was 1,795 foot-pounds. During the takeoff roll he noted the airplane was "dragging a little bit", and noticed the torque decreased to 1,600 foot-pounds. The flight continued and he reportedly attempted to dump the load in the hopper but was unable to move the handle. He continued the takeoff and the airplane became airborne, settled onto a road, and collided with trees in an orange grove past the departure end of the runway. Another pilot for the operator reported that when the airplane went past his position which was approximately 100 feet before the departure end of the runway, he did not recall seeing any flaps extended. According to the operator, postaccident the hopper dump valve tested satisfactory, and the flap actuator was measured and found to indicate between 0 and 10 degrees of flaps extended. The airplane flight manual indicates that with the flight conditions experienced, the flaps should be extended 10 degrees. Examination of the engine and engine components at the engine manufacturer's facility revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction.

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

The failure of the pilot to abort the takeoff after a reported loss of engine power during the takeoff roll, resulting in the in-flight collision with a fence and trees. A factor in the accident was the failure of the pilot to lower the flaps to 10 degrees as specified in the airplane flight manual.

Full narrative available

Index for Jul2005 | Index of months