NTSB Identification: CHI05LA188.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 2005 in Langdon, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-301, registration: N3159N
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.
The agricultural airplane impacted terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude during an aerial application flight. The airplane was spraying a field of canola with fungicide just prior to the accident. The land owner reported that after a spray-run the airplane continued about a half mile beyond the end of the field before pitching-up. An agricultural pilot, who was operating near the accident site, saw the airplane "take a straight line up and arch across the top violently and then it appeared to go straight down." The pilot stated that the airplane did not climb higher than 200 feet above ground level before abruptly pitching to the right and entering the nose low attitude. The wreckage was located in a level, open field. The aircraft engine was impacted into the field to a depth of approximately four feet. Flight control continuity was established between all flight control surfaces and the cockpit. No anomalies were found that could be determined to have existed prior to impact.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the terrain while attempting an abrupt turning maneuver at a low altitude.
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