NTSB Identification: CHI08CA201.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 21, 2008 in Esmond, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: Grumman G-164D, registration: N996QC
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 he gradually added power during takeoff to minimize the prop wash which tended to suck the hopper door open allowing the chemical load to spray out of the hopper and onto the windshield. The pilot reported the airplane became airborne in ground effect with one-third of the runway distance remaining. The airplane settled back onto the airstrip and became airborne once again with 300 to 500 feet of runway remaining. The pilot began to dump the chemical load when he reached the end of the airstrip; however, the airplane began to settle toward the ground again. The left spray boom contacted a wheat crop and the airplane cartwheeled into the field. The pilot purchased the airplane approximately 3 weeks prior to the accident. He stated the hopper door seal was leaking so he had the seal replaced and the door clamps adjusted. He stated he realized the door needed extra clamps on its forward and aft ends to keep it from opening. He stated he had one clamp which they put on the aft end of the door because it would not fit on the forward end. The pilot had an additional clamp on order for the forward end. The pilot stated he did not dump the load earlier because he did not want to kill the grass on the airstrip.

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

The pilot's delay in advancing the throttle during the takeoff which resulted in inadequate airspeed and the subsequent stall/mush. Factors associated with the accident were the leaking hopper, the pilot continuing to operate the airplane with the known deficiency, and the pilot's delay in dumping the chemical load.

Full narrative available

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