NTSB Identification: ERA09LA128
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 02, 2009 in Philadelphia, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/21/2010
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-602, registration: N5013C
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The non-instrument rated pilot departed an estimated 20 minutes in trail behind another pilot flying to the same destination airport, for an intended fuel stop, located approximately 239 nautical miles away. The two pilots exchanged two-way communications using text messaging and the first pilot performed a precautionary landing in a field due to adverse weather. At approximately 1155, the pilot sent a text message to his brother advising him he was on the way home and dodging weather. At approximately 1156, the accident pilot was sent a text message asking about the weather to which he replied he could not see. Witnesses near the area reported hearing a sound and the airplane impacted trees. The airplane impacted trees ,then the ground, and was destroyed by impact and the postcrash fire. Inspection of the engine, airframe, and flight controls revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction.

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

The pilot's improper preflight weather planning and his continued VFR flight into IMC conditions resulting in an in-flight collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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