NTSB Identification: CHI08CA223.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 26, 2008 in Ambia, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Air Tractor Inc. AT-301, registration: N3169R
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 pilot approached and descended towards the west over power lines adjacent to the east/west corn field that he was going to spray. He noted that the sun was "kinda bright" and was a restriction to visibility. During the round out to level flight over the field, the pilot noticed that the airplane continued to sink and before he could release the spray handle and actuate the dump handle, the airplane impacted the field. The pilot "thinks" that his left hand went from the spray lever to the power lever to both hands on the control stick to try and keep the wings level to avoid the airplane from nosing over. The pilot stated that the field "appeared" to be flat but was later told that it had a "slight" rise.

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

The altitude/clearance not obtained/maintained by the pilot while maneuvering over an agricultural field during an aerial application. Contributing factors were the sunglare in the direction of flight, the low altitude of the operation, and the upslope of the field.

Full narrative available

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