NTSB Identification: DFW08TA224
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 27, 2008 in Meeker, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/12/2009
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT-802A, registration: N189LA
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.

While making a pass to drop fire retardant, the airplane's left cockpit access door opened when the airplane experienced an area of turbulence. Although the pilot was unable to close the door, he elected to attempt another pass to jettison his remaining retardant before returning back to the airport. During the pass the airplane departed controlled flight and impacted the ground in a right wing low attitude. The airplane came to a rest in an upright position and the pilot was able to exit the airplane unassisted. An examination of the airplane's door latch revealed no pre-impact anomalies.

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

The pilot's improper decision to continue an aerial application following an uncommanded opening of the cabin door in flight, and his subsequent failure to maintain control of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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