NTSB Identification: DFW05CA131.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 24, 2005 in Cherry Valley, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-402A, registration: N198AS
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The 1,931-hour commercial pilot departed on his twenty-first flight of the day from a 2,200-foot-long and 70-foot-wide grass runway with a 22 knot tailwind. The airplane was loaded with less fuel and the same amount of fertilizer as the previous twenty flights, but the wind velocity had steadily increased throughout the day. The pilot said the airplane became airborne approximately 1,800 to 1,900 feet down the runway, but stayed in ground effect and subsequently struck two levees before it crossed a gravel road and impacted a ditch. The airplane eventually came to rest in a bean field. He said, "The tailwind and the load probably caused the airplane not to climb." The pilot also said that he did not calculate any take off performance data prior to departure.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to calculate take off-distance performance data, which resulted in insufficient runway length for take off. Factors were the tailwind and high gross weight.
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