NTSB Identification: CHI08CA245.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 05, 2008 in Herreid, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: Air Tractor 301, registration: N3161A
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 returned for landing in the tailwheel configured airplane after an agricultural application flight. He executed a normal landing on runway 12 (2,230 feet by 200 feet, asphalt/turf) and kept the tail up as long as possible as the airplane slowed. The pilot stated that when the tailwheel touched down it felt as if the tail was dragging on the ground and the airplane drifted to the right. He applied opposite rudder but was unable to stop the drift. He subsequently applied the brakes, which spun the airplane around and brought it to a stop partially off the runway. The pilot reported that after the accident he observed a bolt securing the tailwheel had failed. The bolt was discarded and was not available for further examination. The pilot commented that he will proactively inspect and replace the tailwheel bolts before each spray season.

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

Failure of one of the tailwheel bolts on landing and the pilot's subsequent inability to maintain directional control.

Full narrative available

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