FTW99LA097
FTW99LA097

On March 19, 1999, at 1720 central standard time, an Aero Commander S2R, agricultural airplane, N5647X, struck a ditch during an aborted takeoff following a loss of engine power. The airplane was owned by Burnette Flying Service at Wynne, Arkansas, and operated by AFS Spraying Service, Hobart, Oklahoma, under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137. The commercial pilot, sole occupant, received minor injuries. The airplane was destroyed by a fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the local aerial application flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

Local authorities and the FAA inspector reported that during the takeoff there was a loss of engine power. The airplane struck a ditch and the main landing gear collapsed. The airplane slid to a stop and the pilot exited the cockpit prior to the fire destroying the airplane.

During a telephone interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that the airplane had experienced a loss of engine power on March 17, 1999, and he had executed an emergency landing in a field. He assessed that it was "possibly a carburetor float or seat sticking". On March 19, 1999, he replaced the carburetor and restarted the engine. There were no discrepancies found during the ground check; however, "at lift off speed the engine backfired smoke and flame from the exhaust port." The pilot shut down the engine and braked to a stop. While exiting the aircraft, the pilot noticed black smoke coming from the accessory compartment.

The airplane was examined by the FAA inspector and the operator. Fire damage prevented a determination of a cause for the loss of engine power.

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