NTSB Identification: CHI08CA246.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 2008 in Turton, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-802A, registration: N9078G
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 reported that while in cruise flight at approximately 500 feet above ground level, the radios began "popping and breaking squelch." He stated that he realized the generator system failed and approximately 30 seconds later, the engine began to lose power. He advanced the throttle and turned back toward the departure airport. The pilot stated the engine then began to vibrate and rapidly lose power. The pilot dumped the chemical load and identified a road on which to land. During the landing, the left wing caught in the tall grass alongside the road, spinning the airplane around and into a ditch. Inspection revealed the starter generator failed which was followed shortly thereafter by the loss of engine power. The pilot reported the starter generator was on fire after the accident.

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

The failure of the starter generator which resulted in the subsequent loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident were the low altitude at which the airplane was operating, the tall grass, and the ditch.

Full narrative available

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