NTSB Identification: CHI08CA251.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 13, 2008 in Monticello, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-301B, registration: N3161D
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 he completed the aerial application portion of the flight and was returning to the airport when the engine suddenly lost power. He stated he was at an altitude of about 200 feet above the ground and had no option but to land the airplane in the trees. The pilot reported he had approximately 75 gallons of fuel on board when he took off. The pilot stated the airplane typically consumed approximately 40 gallons per hour. The pilot reported to a police sergeant that he believed the airplane ran out of fuel. Inspection of the accident site revealed the fuel tanks were ruptured and empty. First responders to the accident site reported there was no odor of fuel having leaked from the airplane.

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

Poor preflight planning in that the pilot failed to assure an adequate fuel supply was on board for the flight which resulted in fuel exhaustion. Factors associated with the accident were the low altitude of the airplane when the loss of power occurred and the trees.

Full narrative available

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