NTSB Identification: CEN12CA221
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, April 02, 2012 in Ganado, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2012
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-402A, registration: N4544S
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.

On the day before the accident, the pilot installed dry fertilizer equipment on the airplane. Later that afternoon, the pilot removed the dry fertilizer equipment and installed spray booms and a spray pump in preparation for dispensing a liquid chemical the next day. The following day, during the takeoff roll, chemicals started covering the windshield, and the windshield washer had no effect. The pilot lost all outside visual references and was unable to maintain level flight. The airplane impacted the ground and slid to a stop. Postaccident examination revealed that the hopper vent had not been turned around. The hopper was still pressurized and chemicals blew out of the hopper lid onto the windshield.

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

The improper positioning of the hopper vent, which allowed chemicals to escape and cover the airplane's windshield.

Full narrative available

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