NTSB Identification: WPR12LA032
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 08, 2011 in Williams, CA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-602, registration: N325BR
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
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 November 8, 2011, about 1415 Pacific standard time, an Air Tractor AT-602, N325BR, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during takeoff initial climb from a private airstrip near Williams, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by Pacific Valley Aviation, Arbuckle, California, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local aerial observation flight, which was originating at the time of the accident.
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that during takeoff initial climb from a private airstrip at an altitude of about 150 feet above ground level (agl), the engine began to surge along with erratic propeller RPM and engine torque readings on the engine instruments. The pilot said he then initiated a 180-degree turn back to the departure airport and about half way through the turn, the engine lost power. He then initiated a forced landing in the direction of the departure airport. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard on the northern part of the departure airport and came to rest upright.
Examination of the airplane by company personnel revealed that both wings and fuselage were structurally damaged. The wreckage was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.
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