NTSB Identification: CHI07CA259.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 09, 2007 in Creston, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2007
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-502, registration: N9195G
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 engine stopped suddenly when the flight was returning from an aerial application flight. The commercial pilot reported that he had finished spraying a field of soybeans and was ferrying the aircraft back to the airport when the "engine totally quit without any forewarning." He reported that he attempted a forced landing to a nearby highway, but the airplane lost too much altitude before reaching the highway and he executed a forced landing to a soybean field. An on scene inspection found that there was no fuel in the left fuel tank. The header fuel tank located between the left and right fuel tanks was found dry. The header tank's quick fuel drain was found crushed, but held open. About 10 gallons of fuel were found in the right fuel tank. No fuel blight was observed on the bean plants at the accident site. The airplane's owner reported that the airplane was fueled prior to the accident flight, and that the left wing was full of fuel. He reported that the airplane should have had enough fuel for another 20 minutes of flight. He reported that the pilot sprayed the field using a "squeeze pattern." By using the squeeze pattern, the pilot sprayed the outside of the field first and worked his way to the center. By doing so, the airplane was constantly turning in the same direction. The owner reported that you can "sling all the fuel from one side to the other side," and that it's possible to get air in the system.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's inadequate fuel calculations. Full narrative available
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