NTSB Identification: DEN07LA020.
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Accident occurred Monday, November 06, 2006 in Deming, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-502A, registration: N1541T
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 pilot was applying dry chemical to a field. After refueling and reloading dry chemical, the pilot departed for the second flight of the day. A rancher, who owned the field the pilot was spraying, was in contact with the pilot via hand-held radio. The pilot and rancher discussed the terrain and application flight paths. The pilot elected to start the application at the top of a ridge and fly downhill. The pilot reported that the downhill pass felt okay, and he was going to make the second pass up slope. The up slope application pass was successful. The rancher then observed the airplane climb to about 500 feet above ground level over a saddle gap between two 6,300 foot ridges, and the airplane began a turn back to the field. Subsequently, the pilot reported over the radio that he was " in a bind and was going to crash." The rancher then observed the airplane "pitch over abruptly and enter a tight spin." The airplane made three turns prior to impact with terrain. The airplane was destroyed by post-impact fire. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no anomalies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering resulting in an inadvertent stall and impact with terrain. A contributing factor was the low airspeed.

Full narrative available

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