NTSB Identification: CHI07TA201.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 07, 2007 in Kyle, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: WSK PZL Mielec PZL M18B, registration: N14067
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The agricultural application airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain while maneuvering for a public use aerial application of fire retardant. The pilot stated that he was approaching a fire location from the northwest. He was crossing a "burnt area from west to east across gently rolling terrain." When he crossed a ridgeline, he encountered a downdraft and the airplane "wanted to settle." The pilot "pushed [the] nose over and released [the] load." The pilot stated that the airplane would not recover before impacting terrain. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane in reference to the flight. Gusty winds were present in the area at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from terrain during an aerial application maneuver. Contributing to the accident were wind gusts, low altitude, and the reported downdraft.

Full narrative available

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