NTSB Identification: WPR12CA403
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, September 06, 2012 in Brawley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2012
Aircraft: AYRES CORPORATION S2R-R1340, registration: N4020A
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 reported that he did not notice that the wind shifted while he was reloading product for an agricultural application flight. As a result, he erroneously attempted a downwind takeoff with an outside temperature estimated at 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The pilot said that when the airplane lifted off he was looking directly into the setting sun. He further stated that the sun’s position made it difficult to judge his position on the runway. The airplane impacted a ditch on the west end of the runway and nosed over, sustaining substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot reported no abnormalities with the airplane before the accident.

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

The pilot's decision to attempt to takeoff in high temperatures with a tailwind. Contributing to the accident was the sun glare.

Full narrative available

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