NTSB Identification: CEN11LA404
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, June 16, 2011 in Athleimer, AR
Aircraft: AYRES CORPORATION S2R-T34, registration: N30902
Injuries: 1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On June 16, 2011, at 1330 central daylight time, N30902, an Ayres Corporation S2R-T34, sustained substantial damage when it made a forced landing to a soybean field after an uncontained engine failure and in-flight fire. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Swan Lake Flying Service, Altheimer, Arkansas. No flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed a private airstrip near Altheimer, about 1320. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the agricultural spraying flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 137.
According to the pilot, he departed with 2,400 pounds of fertilizer and flew to a 23-acre field approximately one-mile from where he departed. Just as he started his first pass, and without any warning, the engine "exploded" and the propeller "slammed" to a stop. He also saw flames around the cowling and exiting the exhaust stack. The pilot immediately established best glide speed and headed toward a soybean field while dumping the fertilizer. He said that as he was approaching the field, there was a lot of black soot coming from the engine and he could still see flames and pieces of metal exiting the exhaust stack. As he touched down in the field, he wanted to avoid hitting a canal, but the smoke was too thick for him to see. The landing gear struck the canal and was torn off the airplane. It then skidded for approximately 75 feet before coming to a stop, and the pilot was able to exit the airplane before it was consumed by fire.
The airplane and engine were recovered and taken to a secure salvage facility for further examination.
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